Russia should progress to their furthest point in a World Cup tournament under Fabio Capello

Manager: Fabio Capello

World Ranking: 19

Best World Cup finish: Group stage 1994 and 2002

How they qualified: Top of Uefa Group F

Fixtures: Group H - South Korea (17 June) , Belgium (22 June), Algeria (26 June)

Squad -

Goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeev, Yury Lodygin, Sergey Ryzhikov

Defenders: Vasili Berezutskiy, Vladimir Granat, Andrey Eshchenko, Sergey Ignashevich, Alexey Kozlov, Dmitry Kombarov, Andrey Semenov, Georgi Schennikov

Midfielders: Denis Glushakov, Igor Denisov, Alan Dzagoev, Yury Zhirkov, Alexey Ionov, Alexander Samedov, Victor Faizulin, Oleg Shatov, Roman Shirokov.

Forwards: Maxim Kanunnikov, Alexander Kerzhakov, Alexander Kokorin

Expectations: Russia have been perennial underachievers at World Cups, having been eliminated at the group stages of both previous tournaments in which they appeared. As England fans will attest to, Fabio Capello will have his side well-drilled, however the 20 goals they scored during qualification suggests the Russian's are adept at going forward. Zenit St Petersburg star Aleksander Kerzhakov, who scored five goals on the road to Brazil, holds the key to whether Russia can finally break their group stage duck.

Star man: Igor Akinfeev – The one-time Manchester United target had been touted as one of the world's best goalkeepers, but while he may not have reached that elevated status, Akinfeev remains a top shot stopper. He conceeded just five goals during qualification, in a group that contained Portugal and Israel. Former USSR goalkeeper Vladimir Pilguy told, "Akinfeev has a whole set of brilliant qualities, which you could see from childhood. He has excellent reflexes, very good positioning and technique, and predicts how things will unfold in a game – but perhaps his main forte is mental strength."

Prediction: Last 16 – Russia will likely face Germany or Portugal if they progress to the knockout stages of the tournament, which could prove one fixture too many.