International Friendly Preview: Russia v Morocco

FIFA World Cup starting places are likely to be on the line when Russia face Morocco in their final friendly before the tournament.

Russia will bid farewell to their home fans in Friday's clash at the Lokomotiv Stadium in Moscow, which serves as the last chance for players to impress coach Fabio Capello ahead of the Brazil showpiece.

Capello finalised his 23-man squad on Monday and the Italian's attentions will now turn to selecting a starting XI for their opening game with South Korea on June 17.

Having been drawn in Group H alongside South Korea, Belgium and Algeria, Russia stand a decent chance of qualifying for the knockout stages of the World Cup for the first time as a sovereign nation.

But after been left unimpressed by his side's exploits in front of goal in last weekend's 1-1 draw with Norway, Capello will be keen for his side to rediscover their attacking form before competing in a group that is considered to be among the most competitive in the tournament.

Russia found the net 20 times in qualification for the finals, with Zenit striker Alexander Kerzhakov scoring five goals.

However, Capello slammed his players for wasting "four good goalscoring opportunities" in a disappointing display in Oslo.

Yet Russia should be confident of recovering their goalscoring form and earning a confidence-boosting result against a Morocco team that have not qualified for the World Cup since 1998.

The North African nation made an early exit from CAF qualification as their campaign ended in the second round after finishing second behind Group C winners Ivory Coast.

Morocco's focus will be firmly on preparations for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, which is to be held in the country for the first time in 27 years.

Russia should provide Badou Zaki's men with a stern test and, following 2-0 defeat to Angola last week, there is little doubt that the visitors will be underdogs.

While the result will not be secondary to Russia, the issue of returning captain Roman Shirokov to full fitness may be more pressing to Capello.

Shirokov was named in the 23-man squad, despite not playing since late April because of an Achilles problem, and Capello will hope for the 32-year-old to gain match practice before Russia attempt to make an impression in South America.