Watch Live: Russia vs. New Zealand opens Confederations Cup
The Confederations Cup takes flight as hosts Russia take on New Zealand in Group A play Saturday at 11:00 a.m. ET live on Telemundo Deportes.
The rest of Group A includes Portugal and Mexico, who meet on Sunday. The top two teams in the group advance to the semifinals against the top two finishers in Group B.
[ WATCH LIVE: Russia vs. New Zealand live online at Telemundo Deportes ]
Russia has huge expectations in its home country, especially after falling well short of Euro 2016 expectations. Manager Stanislav Cherchesov has rung some changes since being hired after that disappointment, and brought in young talent like 21-year-olds Aleksandr Golovin and Aleksey Miranchuk, with the former starting today against New Zealand.
Attacker Aleksandr Erokhin leads the line in his ninth cap, still yet to score a national team goal. He plays up front supported by veteran wingers Aleksandr Samedov and Yuri Zhirkov who have 114 caps between them.
For New Zealand, they come into the competition ranked 95th in the FIFA world rankings, clearly the underdogs in a strong group. Still, they have their biggest chance for an upset in this match against a Russia side that has fallen to smaller teams in the recent past.
Russia: Akinfeev, Vasin, Dzhikiia, Poloz, Glushakov, Smolov, Kudriashov, Golovin, Zhirkov, Samedov, Erokhin.
Bench: Gabulov, Shishkin, Kambolov, Guilherme, Kanunnikov, Bukharov, Kombarov, Tarasov, Kutepov, Miranchuk, Smolinkov, Gazinski.
New Zealand: Marinovic, Wynne, Boxall, Barbarouses, McGlinchey, Wood, Rojas, Thomas, Colvey, Smith, Durante.
Bench: Tzimopoulos, Moss, Smeltz, Roux, Tuiloma, Doyle, Williams, Rufter, Lewis, Patterson, Brotherton, Ingham.