Submitted by content on Wed, 06/22/2016 - 05:37

There are concerns that the current crop of players in the Russian national team set to play in France lack certain characteristics to push them far in the continental tournament.

In exactly two years time, the country will play hosts to the FIFA World Cup, for the first time in their country’s history. 2018 would be a defining moment for the country.

Russia men’s national team have not been consistent in recent years in big tournaments, as they have continually struggled. The tournament due to start in France will be a good test for the national team led by Leonid Slutski. Slutski’s side will be making a knock in the knockout rounds of the competition will be a big shot in the arm. Especially since Guus Hiddink’s side in Euro 2008 have the side make any kind of a notable impact.

Team leaders like Roman Pavlyuchenko and Andrei Arshavin are yet to be replaced and the new generation are slow in replacing what the previous generation built over the last decade. The current crop of players in the team is mostly from Zenit St. Petersburg. Slutski is a more intelligent manager and his performances at the club level attest to his abilities just as the requirements are huge. They will ply their trade against England, Slovakia and Wales in euro 2016. Considering their experience, they should move past the group stage but anything after that will be surprising due to their form and past performances.

The goal keeper Igor Akinfeev just revealed that they were happy to get England during the draws. Akinfeev said the Three Lions remain the most beatable of a batch of top seeds also featuring France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Belgium. Both teams will meet on Saturday in the Group B opener.