The whole of Russia will be behind the Russian International Football Team when Russia hosts the 2018 World Cup, however FIFA’s 62nd ranked team will need to improve on their recent performances having not reached the Knockout Stages at the World Cup since 1986.
Of course, as the host nation, they got a place in the seeded-pot for the 2018 World Cup Finals, avoiding FIFA’s 7 highest-ranked teams in the process. The draw also looks to have been kind to them, as Group A looks one of the weaker of the 8 groups, comprising Uruguay, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Progression to the knockout stages is no certainty though, and you only have to cast your minds back to Euro 2016 to remember that Russia failed to qualify for the knockout stages there, having finished bottom of a group comprising England, Wales and Slovakia. They scored just two goals in the process, which were scored by defender Vasil Berezutski and defensive-midfielder Denis Glushakov.A repeat of that could easily see a shock in the 2018 World Cup Russia Top Scorer but, hopefully, Russia can at least delight their fans with a few goals.
2018 World Cup Russia Top Scorer Betting
Aleksandr Kokorin 5/2, Fyodor Smolov 5/1, Aleksandr Bukharov 13/2, Alexei Miranchuck 12/1, Dmitry Poloz 12/1
The 26-year-old forward come winger plies his trade in Russia for Zenit St Petersburg, where he has scores at a rate of 1 goal every 3½ games, having previously scored 41 goals in 171 games for Dynamo Moscow. He has also scored 12 goals in 48 games for Russia, though he scored his last International Goal on June 1 2016. He drew a blank after appearing in Russia’s 3 games at Euro 2016.
27-year-old striker who was nothing more than a squad player for most of his early career, when perhaps he had better things to do having been married to ex Miss Russia Victoria Petrovna Lopyreva. They divorced in 2015 and, following a move to Krasnodar, he has looked a completely different player. He was the Russian Premier League Top-Scorer in 2015/16 (20 goals in 29 games) and 2016/17 (18 goals), and was Russia’s leading scorer in 2017 with 5 goals in 8 games.
32-year-old who has scored just once in 9 games for Russia, and since 2010 has averaged around 1 goal in every 5 games for Zenit St Petersburg and current club Rostov.
22-year-old forward/midfielder who is now in his sixth season with Lokomotiv Moscow for whom he averages around 1 goal every 7 games. However, his strike-rate has improved to better than a goal every 3 games in the 2017/18 season, whilst he also scored 3 goals in 9 games for Russia in 2017.
22-year-old winger who scored 22 goals in 127 games for Rostov before joining Zenit St Petersburg in 2017. Scored twice for his country, with both those goals coming in 2017, in which he played 8 time for Russia.
Aleksandr Kokorin could easily bounce back to form but, without an International goal since 2016, he looks a false favourite. However, at big-odds, Alexei Miranchuck nearly got the vote. However, rising star Fyodor Smolov has been scoring for both club and country with great regularity, and looks the best-value at 5/1.