In the long history of the FIFA World Cup, only once has a host nation failed to advance out of their opening group or round.
That was South Africa in 2010, who at least managed to get a win and a draw from their three games.
While Qatar in 2022 would be expected to struggle when they host the tournament, Russia's hosting of the tournament comes at a bad time due to the paucity of talent they currently possess and some of the selection decisions.
In the first interview of our Team 33 World Cup coverage, I was joined by Moscow-based Irish sports broadcaster Alan Moore to get a lowdown on a Russian team that could still disappoint despite getting one of the kinder group draws against Saudi Arabia, Egypt and a strong Uruguay.
Alan's not exactly optimistic about Russia's hopes of advancing out of the group, saying of the squad: "They're also missing some players as well. So it's probably the worst group of players Russia could pick from in any case and the worst coach Russia could pick from in any case. So if they get out of the group, it'll be nearing a miracle."
You can watch the full interview above via YouTube and we also have a podcast version right below:
Recent interviews on Team 33 include former Man United cult hero Andrei Kanchelskis, ex-England international Carlton Palmer, former Newcastle and Everton left back Alessandro Pistone, Chelsea legends Bobby Tambling and Paddy Mulligan, Dutch legend Johan Neeskens, ex-England striker Darius Vassell, Liverpool legend David Fairclough, former Ireland midfielder Mark Kinsella, USA captain Eric Lichaj and former Everton forward Tomasz Radzinski. Plus our in-depth chats with Tony Coton, Packie Bonner, Nobby Solano, Ron Atkinson and Alan Curbishley are still available on iTunes. You can find them all in one place by subscribing to Team 33 on iTunes.