Russia was a surprise winner of their European qualifying group, which included Portugal, and the strength of their team is their defense.
The midfield is also a good one and while they do not have a dynamic offense other teams in the group will have a tough time against a stout back line.
Russia has the second best World Cup betting odds to win a group that includes Belgium, South Korea, and Algeria.
Russia Odds to win World Cup 2014: +800
Russia Odds to win Group H: +220
One area where the Russians are weak is on the flanks and in aerial balls, as that how they gave up most of their goals.
Russia has already beaten South Korea in a friendly and after playing to a draw against Brazil and Serbia they have won their last two. Ex England manager Fabio Capello is the head of the Russian squad that plays a solid team game, but really does not have a squad packed with stars.
World Cup Prediction for Russia
Russia has the second best odds to win Group H and they will finish second in the group. They will not beat a Belgium team that has much more talent on the pitch, but with their team game they play they will beat Algeria and South Korea.
However, in the round of 16 they will face the Group of Death winner and that will be Germany. The Russians will give Germany a good game with their defense, but they will not win and not advance to the quarterfinals.
How Russia got to the World Cup
Russia did not play in the toughest European qualifying group, but they still won besting a solid Portugal team in the process. They went undefeated at home and after losses to Portugal and Northern Ireland they went unbeaten in their next four.
The defense for Russia had five clean sheets in 10 matches and overall the squad had a qualifying record of seven wins, two losses, and one draw.
World Cup Qualifying Results
07/09/12 Russia 2 - 0 Northern Ireland
11/09/12 Israel 0 - 4 Russia
12/10/12 Russia 1 - 0 Portugal
16/10/12 Russia 1 - 0 Azerbaijan
07/06/13 Portugal 1 - 0 Russia
14/08/13 Northern Ireland 1 - 0 Russia
06/09/13 Russia 4 - 1 Luxembourg
10/09/13 Russia 3 - 1 Israel
11/10/13 Luxembourg 0 - 4 Russia
15/10/13 Azerbaijan 1 - 1 Russia
World Cup Group Play Schedule
17/06/14 Russia vs. South Korea - Arena Pantanal
22/06/14 Belgium vs. Russia - Estadio do Maracanã
26/06/14 Algeria vs. Russia - Arena da Baixada
Team Key Players
Alan Dzagoev MF CSKA Moscow - he is the leader in the midfield and while his defense is his best asset he can also spurn the offense.
Aleksandr Kerzhakov FW Zenit - He is the key offensive player for the Russian squad.
Vasili Berezutski DF CSKA Moscow - One of the better back line defenders on the squad that has a few of them and he is also good at beginning counter-attack chances.