They've been a part of the World Cup Final nine times, and Russia are fielding a team that has the potential to go far in the 2014 version of the World Cup.

Russia are led on the sideline by great manager Fabio Capello. He brings a wealth of Italian soccer experience, not to mention a wealth of Italian soccer knowledge. However, he also brings some Spanish style of play to the squad, so watch for this team to compete in Group H. Capello's stints at AC Milan and Real Madrid qualify him as one of the best coaches in the past 25 years.

Roman Shirokov leads the talented Russian midfield. Shirokov, along with club teammate Victor Fayzulin at Zenit St. Petersburg, are great staples in the middle of the pitch for Russia, and have the chemistry to work well together in Brazil.

Up front, Russia have another Zenit St. Petersburg player in Aleksandr Kerzhakov, and Kerzhakov is capable of opening up the goal scoring flood gates at any moment. The 31-year-old striker has over 180 career goals at the club level, so defenders have to be extremely cautious when Kerzhakov approaches them with the ball at his feet. Kerzhakov is easily the most dangerous weapon in the Russian arsenal, so containing him is integral for any squad facing them.

My prediction: Group H's preview is now in the books, and the Russians advance to the knockout round. Belgium are seriously good, but the Russians aren't too far behind. A second place finish here is good enough behind the Belgians.

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