Luxembourg vs. Russia: Date, Time, Live Stream, and Preview

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistOctober 11, 2013

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA - OCTOBER 04:  UEFA Ambassador and Manager of the Russian national team Fabio Capello looks on during the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour press conference on October 4, 2013 in Bucharest, Romania.  (Photo by Daniel Mihailescu/Getty Images for UniCredit)
Getty Images/Getty Images

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.

 

When: Friday, October 11 at 2:30 p.m. EDT (7:30 p.m. BST)

Where: Stade Josy Barthel, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

Watch: WatchESPN

 

Key Storylines

KHIMKI, RUSSIA - SEPTEMBER 29: Aleksandr Kokorin (L) of FC Dinamo Moscow challenged by Nadson of FC Krylia Sovetov Samara during the Russian Premier League match between FC Dinamo Moscow and FC Krylia Sovetov Samara at the Rodina Stadium on September 29,
Epsilon/Getty Images

Luxembourg will have their hands full against Aleksandr Kokorin, who scored two goals against them in September, along with Alexander Kerzhakov. The forward pair torched the hosts for three total goals in the last contest and can be expected to pose a threat in this game. 

What's worse, Luxembourg will be without Aurelien Joachim (suspended) and Maxime Chanot (injured), two of Luxembourg's four professionals on the squad.

And after losing two straight games to Portugal and Northern Ireland, Russia has responded with a barrage of goals, defeating Luxembourg and Israel by a combined score of 7-2.

With a second match against Luxembourg—and a final matchup against Azerbaijan, currently at the bottom of the Group F table—the Russians will try to avoid complacency against clearly inferior opponents with a World Cup bid hanging in the balance. 

 

Prediction

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK - FEBRUARY 29:  Alexander Kerzhakov of Russia in action during the International Friendly between Denmark and Russia at Parken Stadium on February 29, 2012 in Copenhagen, Denmark.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Russia has everything to play for in this game and is the vastly superior side, so it's hard to imagine them blowing this game. And unless the Russians lose their next two games, a play-off is basically guaranteed, even if they don't win the group, so it's not as though they need to put too much pressure on themselves.

Even at home, Luxembourg seems dramatically overmatched in this contest, especially when you consider they've won just one match in eight qualifiers.

Russia wins, 2-0.

 

Follow TRappaRT on Twitter