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President Vladimir Putin has stylishly told the 2018 World Cup hosts they must improve their results. That warning could be the motivation the team led by Stanislav Cherchesov need to do well in this dress rehearsal towards a better performance next year.
New kid on the block, Aleksandr Golovin, should prove a good find for the Russians as they test their miXght against a 95th-ranked New Zealand team, who are expected to act as canon fodder.
Current Form: Russia [D-W-D-L-W]; New Zealand [L-L-W-W-D]
Head to head
This will be their first meeting
Prediction: Russia 3-1 New Zealand
Portugal v Mexico @Kazan’ Arena @4pm on June 18