After quitting England in February, Fabio Capello has today been named new manager of Russia, and has the task of justifying 7/4 odds for his new side to win their 2014 World Cup qualifying group.
Although he has yet to officially sign a contract with the nation, Italian Capello is to be appointed on a six-year deal, culminating at the 2018 World Cup, which will be held in Russia.
The 66-year-old was always the prime candidate to succeed Dick Advocaat, and the RFU have wasted little time in moving to get their man, and should confirm the appointment by Thursday at the latest.
“Today we have decided to name Fabio Capello as the manager of Russia,” RFU vice-president Nikita Simonyan said.
“Once (Capello) and his representatives arrive, we believe they will sign the contract. I think it will happen on Wednesday or Thursday.”
Capello will inherit a national side in impressive shape, though one which underachieved immensely at Euro 2012.
Initially looking dark horses for tournament glory after an emphatic 4-1 win in their opening match in Poland and Ukraine, Russia went on to be eliminated at the group stage, despite boasting the tournament’s joint-top scorer in Alan Dzagoev.
They should have little trouble in qualifying for their next tournament however, with straightforward-looking opposition making up their World Cup qualifying group rivals.
Portugal appear the only serious threat, and are 1/2 favourites to claim Group F, whilst Israel, Northern Ireland, Azerbaijan and Luxembourg seem to pose little danger to Russia’s 7/4 hopes.
Indeed, the Russians qualified emphatically for Euro 2012, winning their group whilst suffering defeat on only one occasion to advance directly to the tournament.
Meanwhile England, under the stewardship of Capello during their qualifying matches, also claimed group success whilst avoiding defeat, so the combination could prove a highly successful one.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.