Our prediction for this World Cup 2022 match:
Saturday’s World Cup qualifier at Neo GSP Stadium pits together Cyprus and Russia, the two teams who sit in the opposite halves of the table. Cyprus dropped to ultimate position in Group H following a shocking loss at Malta (0-3), meaning that they are low on confidence ahead of the visit of Russia. Since important defender Costas Soteriou misses the match through suspension, we are not tempted to put our money on the hosts.
The Russians, on the other hand, continue life without key attacker Artem Dzyuba, who has been surprisingly left out of the squad. New boss Valerij Karpin will continue to rely on Aleksey Miranchuk up front, while Valencia winger Denis Cheryshev should be recalled to the starting line-up. Considering that important winger Rifat Zhemaletdinov returns from suspension, we believe that there is a big value in betting on the visitors.
Highlighted Player (Kostakis Artymatas):
Kostakis Artymatas is a Cypriot international who plays for APOEL. Artymatas joined Enosis Neon Paralimni at the age of eight and after spending eight years at the club, he moved to England in 2009. The Cypriot footballer spent three years at the City Ground and in 2012 he returned to Enosis.
After making 18 league appearances for the club in the 2012/2013 season, he signed a deal with fellow Cypriot club APOEL on 14 June, 2013. He made his APOEL debut on 11 November, 2013 against Alki Larnaca, coming from the bench ten minutes before the end. Kostakis Artymatas is a defensive midfielder who plays as a centre back as well and he was born on 15 April, 1993 in Paralimni.
The APOEL footballer has seven caps for Cyprus U21 team and he made his debut for the first team on 12 October, 2012 against Slovenia. Kostakis Artymatas has a contract with APOEL, which expires on 31 May, 2017. He is a right-footed player.
Highlighted Team (Russia):
While they won the 1960 European Championship, while losing in the final in 1964, 1972 and 1988 as Soviet Union, Russia have enjoyed little success since starting to compete as an independent country in 1992.
Their best result up to date is the third-placed finish at the Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland, while the team failed to get past the group stage at the World Cup finals in three attempts. However, with Russian Premier League getting stronger by the day, the national team have started to improve as well, and they now finally seem capable of matching the world’s top sides.
The new generation includes high-quality footballers such as Alan Dzagoev, Aleksandr Kokorin, Artyom Dzyuba and Oleg Shatov, while the likes of Igor Akinfeev, Sergei Ignashevich, Roman Shirokov and Yuri Zhirkov are nearing the closing stages of their careers. But, with plenty of exciting talent coming through the ranks, future definitely looks bright for the Russia national team.