Friday, October 11, 2013

Luxembourg vs Russia

Russia's precarious one point lead over Portugal in Group F means that both sides will be under heavy pressure in their final two World Cup qualifiers.

For Fabio Capello's Russia side the job is made a bit simpler by just needing to keep winning. In fact, a win over Luxembourg on Friday combined with a Portugal loss against Israel would send the Russians on to Brazil. The Russians really can't worry about what the Portuguese are up to though and would be better served to just win their two remaining games, which would also guarantee qualification no matter what Portugal does.

Russia easily defeated Luxembourg 4-1 in their first meeting back in September.

For Russia, a guaranteed trip to Brazil is pretty simple—win two games and win Group F, thus automatically qualifying for the 2014 World Cup. Or win against Luxembourg and hope Portugal lose to Israel. Or, well, any other number of scenarios.

Russia could certainly complicate things for themselves. But one way or another, their destiny is currently in their hands.

Luxembourg's destiny was taken out of their hands long ago—the team is fifth in Group F with just six points—but the squad will be hoping to put a damper on Russia's World Cup bid. That will be easier said than done—Russia won the last meeting between these countries, 4-1.

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