Shirokov expects Russia to beat Brazil

The Zenit midfielder believes his side are the favourites to beat the Selecao at Stamford Bridge on Monday, and hopes to have the Northern Ireland match rescheduled for June
Russia midfielder Roman Shirokov is fully confident of his side's chances of beating Brazil in Monday's international friendly.

Fabio Capello's charges take on the World Cup hosts at Stamford Bridge and although the 31-year-old has warned against reading too much into the Fifa ranking table - Brazil are 18th and Russia are 10th - he is backing his country to triumph.

"I expect our team to play well and I expect to win," he told reporters. "Fifa ranking don’t always reflect accurately the standpoint of each team. But favourites? Maybe."

Russia's World Cup qualifier with Northern Ireland was twice postponed over the weekend due to severe weather conditions, and Shirokov hopes the match is rescheduled for the summer to avoid clashes with the domestic league.

"The conditions of the field were unacceptable," he added. "It was impossible to play, but we have to keep in mind they are not used to this weather on a regular basis, so we have to be a bit more understanding.

"I’m not sure why we’re talking about playing the game in November because there are a number of clashes with games for Russian clubs. It’s more likely we’ll play in June or August, and June is the preferred option.

"When we practiced in Northern Ireland, the pitch was OK but the wind conditions were unacceptable. Here the pitch is in a good state, so that will give us a chance to play a good game tomorrow."