Russia - USA Preview: Sbornaya should stretch undefeated run under Italian boss
Fabio Capello has made the Russians a difficult side to beat and they may be too strong for an experimental Stars and Stripes team yet to emerge victorious over their opponents
By Craig Turnbull
Anyukov, Ber'skiy, Ignashevich, Kombarov
Denisov, Shirokov, Faizulin,
Dzagoev, Kerzhakov, Bystrov
Chandler, Bocanegra, Cameron, Johnson Bradley, Williams
Gatt, Jones, Gyau
Jurgen Klinsmann's USA are expected to make a few changes to the squad as fans are given a glimpse into the future for this friendly with Russia in Krasnodar.
There are recalls to the side for AZ's Jozy Altidore, who missed the last two fixtures for the national team, while controversial young full-back Timmy Chandler - who is still to commit himself to the Stars and Stripes as he can also play for Germany - is named in the squad of 20 instead of the experienced Steve Cherundolo.
In come a flurry of potential young stars including Josh Gatt, who just won the Norweigan league title with Molde, 20-year-old Joe Gyau from Bundesliga club Hoffenheim, Mix Diskerud from Rosenborg and Chivas USA striker Juan Agudelo.
Tottenham's Clint Dempsey, LA Galaxy's Landon Donovan, Sporting Kansas City's Graham Zusi and Real Salt Lakes' Kyle Beckerman were all left out of this latest squad selection.
Fabio Capello's Russia, meanwhile, will be without Aleksandr Samedov who is suffering from an ankle ligament injury while starlets Denis Cheryshev (Real Madrid) and Fyodor Smolov (Anzhi Makhachkala) receive call-ups to the full team after excelling at Under-21 level.
However, Yuri Zhirkov has been snubbed and there are still no places for Andrey Arshavin, Pavel Pogrebnyak and Roman Pavlyuchenko.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Russia have had a superb start to their World Cup qualifying campaign having taken maximum points from their first four games including a 1-0 victory over Portugal.
- Fabio Capello's men are ranked ninth in the world - the first time they have been in the top 10 since October 2010 while their opponents USA are listed inside the top 30 at No.27.
- Russia have never lost to the USA in the four meetings between the sides, a run which stretches back to February 1993, not long after the Soviet Union was disbanded.
- USA's Juan Agudelo (pictured right), at 17, became the youngest ever player to score for the national team in 2010 when a goal on his debut gave the Star & Stripes a 1-0 victory over South Africa.
- Only three players from the MLS have been included in this clash with Sbornaya: Chicago Fire's goalkeeper Nick Johnson, Real Salt Lake's shot-stopper Nick Romando and Chivas striker Agudelo.
- The USA will end this year with their best winning percentage in the modern era having a 9-2-2 record in 2012.
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Top 3 Predictions
Russia 2-0 United States
- 15.85 %
Russia 1-2 United States
- 14.21 %
Russia 2-1 United States
- 10.38 %
|International Friendlies (FR)||Nov 14, 2012||Russia 2 - United States 2|
|Mar 5, 2014||Russia 2 - Armenia 0||FR|
|Nov 19, 2013||Russia 2 - South Korea 1||FR|
|Nov 15, 2013||Russia 1 - Serbia 1||FR|
|Oct 15, 2013||Azerbaijan 1 - Russia 1||WCQ|
|Oct 11, 2013||Luxembourg 0 - Russia 4||WCQ|
|-||Joshua Alexander Gatt|
The main playmaker in the side and set up the goal for Aleksandr Kerzhakov against Portugal in the last game, the 31-year-old is an important cog in the Russian machine and although not a stranger to controversy, has proven himself to be one of the finest midfielders in Russia today. His positional sense is what gives him the advantage while his ability to pick out a pass is first class.
Although not picked for his side in the last couple of qualifiers after poor performances led the coach to omit him from the squad, Jozy Altidore has once again found his form and is scoring for fun, having netted nine times in the Eredivisie with AZ this season. Powerful and mobile, the attacker is difficult to handle and with wingers Josh Gatt and Joe Gyau providing him support on either side, Altidore could prove his worth for the Stars & Stripes once again.
Russia are expected to field a fairly strong team against the US with Fabio Capello reluctant to change a winning formula but the hosts do not tend to score that many goals under the Italian - only once in his tenure have they scored more than two goals in a match. The Americans will have an eye on the final round of World Cup qualifying next year and may blood a few youngsters in this game.
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed