Russia vs Ivory Coast: Preview and Predictions

Russia vs Ivory Coast-Match Preview-24-March-2017

Russia vs Ivory Coast
International Friendly
Date: Friday, 24th March 2017
Kick-Off at 16:00 UK / 17:00 CET
Venue: Krasnodar Stadium.

The Russian football team is in the midst of a rebuilding phase on the aftermath of their poor performance at the Euro 2016. The new manager Stanislav Cherchesov is given a tough target as the board want the team to reach the semi-finals at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Cherchesov has seen mixed results in the five matches he managed as the team picked up 2 wins and 1 draw, while losing twice. He had brought some fresh blood into the squad, asserting faith in a number of youngsters playing for the domestic clubs.

And the judgement day is not that far, as on the month of June when Russia will compete with Germany, Chile and Portugal for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.

The situation is somewhat similar with Ivory Coast, who were eliminated from the group stage of the African Nations Cup without registering a single win. Michel Dussuyer resigned as head-coach after the failure and the Ivorians are yet to find a permanent replacement for the vacant post.

Despite the failure in the continental tournament, Ivory Coast made a decent start to their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign. They are grouped together in a tricky pool that includes strong teams like Morocco, Gabon and Mali. A win and a draw from first two matches keep them at top of the group, which give a slight advantage when the campaign restarts later in August.

Russia vs Ivory Coast: Head-to-head

The most recent meeting the two sides was in a friendly match in 2012. The match ended 1-1 with goals coming in the second period of play. Alan Dzagoev put Russia on front which was cancelled out by Bournemouth forward Max Gradel.

Russia vs Ivory Coast: Prediction

Ivory Coast are not well organized without a head-coach. Their main problems before and during the African Cup of Nations was goal scoring. We believe this issue remains intact and the Russians could benefit from this.

For Cherchesov, this is a perfect opportunity to register a win and inject some confidence and self-belief into the players. They do not have an issue in scoring goals, as the talent mid-field often compliments the flaws of the strikers.

Yet, this will be a low scoring match and the Russians could get the win without any trouble.

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