The competition gets underway on Thursday with the hosts Russia taking on Saudi Arabia in the first game of the tournament.

"Russia’s results have been poor recently, but the World Cup is different from friendly matches. I hope the team will be able to get it together and show a [good] result. They need time. I know Stanislav Cherchesov [Russia head coach] well, he will prepare players, the players… will be able to get past the group stage. There are many good footballers in the Russian team, I believe that they [the team] will perform well at the World Cup, " Zanev said.

Russia recently played two warm-up matches against Austria and Turkey, which they lost 1-0 and drew 1-1 respectively.

Russia will host the World Cup from June 14 to July 15. The fixtures will be played at 12 stadiums across 11 cities, with the host nation facing Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay in Group A.