FIRST WORD

USA TODAY US Edition - - SPORTS -

We’re re­al­ists. We’re not favourites to win the World Cup, but we want to get out of the group and we’re play­ing at home. We want to prove to every­one, and most of all to our­selves, that we can play football, so that the coun­try can be proud of us.”

Rus­sian striker Ar­tyom Dzyuba, on the hopes of the host team, ac­cord­ing to Skys­ports.com, ahead of Thurs­day’s open­ing match against Saudi Ara­bia. The Rus­sians, who are fa­vored in this match, are ranked 70th in the world and Saudi Ara­bia 67th.

TIM GROOTHUIS/WITTERS SPORT/USA TO­DAY

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