14th June 4pm
Russia 5 - 0 Saudi Arabia
19th June - 7pm
Russia v Egypt
Uruguay v Russia
Flag: Unspectacular tricolor of three horizontal bands of white, blue and red. Not a patch on the old hammer and sickle of the Soviet Union flag.
Population: 144.3 million
Nickname: Sbornaya – it translates, imaginatively, as ‘The National Team’.
Manager: Stanislav Cherchesov took over from the excellently-named Leonid Slutsky in August 2016 haing managed the likes of Dynamo Moscow, Legia Warsaw and the also excellently-named Amkar Perm.
Captain: It’s their goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.
Star Man: It’s a toss up between Akinfeev at one end of the pitch and striker Fyodor Smolov at the other. The latter has 30 caps and is bagging an international goal once every 2.5 games.
Rising Star: Twenty-one year-old Aleksandr Golovin seems to a midfielder with real potential. A winner of the European U-17 Championship in 2013, he’s already represented Russia on 17 occasions, scoring two goals. Keep ‘em peeled.