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Samedov discusses Russia’s chances of advancing out of ‘tough’ World Cup group

(Photo by Epsilon/Getty Images)

midfielder Aleksandr Samedov believes his side were handed a tough draw.

The hosts will kick off the tournament against Saudi Arabia on June 14 before playing Egypt on the 19th and will face Uruguay in their final group game six days later.

According to Samedov, some people think it’d be a shame if the hosts couldn’t make it to the round of the 16 of the tournament, however, the player believes nothing is guaranteed in football.

“Everything is possible in football. Uruguay are one of the best teams in Latin America. Egypt have repeatedly won the Africa Cup of Nations,” the 33-year-old midfielder, who was included in Russia’s 35-man preliminary squad for the 2018 World Cup, told Russian magazine Bolshoi Sport.

The Spartak Moscow midfielder used the Algerian national team’s performance in the 2014 World Cup as an example of the unpredictability of football. The Desert Warriors put in strong performances in Brazil, as they defeated South Korea, drew with Russia and lost to Belgium to reach the round of 16, where they were eliminated after a 2-1 extra time defeat to Germany.

“In my opinion, it’s a tough group. We’ll have to work really hard,” he added.

In preparation to the global showpiece, the Russian national team are scheduled to face Austria on May 30 and Turkey on June 5.

Editor-in-Chief at Pursuing a master's degree in sport policy, management and international development at the University of Edinburgh.

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