The Russian Football Union (RFU) on Friday published a list of 28 players selected to enter the preliminary roster of the national squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which kicks off next month in 11 cities across Russia.

Before the 2018 World Cup begins on June 14 in Moscow, hosts Russia are set to play two friendly matches — on May 30 against Austria in Innsbruck and against Turkey here on June 5.

At the World Cup, Russia have been placed in Group A with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay, reports Tass news agency.

It is a relatively easy group for the hosts as they are expected to go through to the knockout rounds as the second placed team behind South American giants Uruguay.

Russia qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 1958. Their best result came at the 1966 edition in England when they finished fourth.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off in 34 days with the opening match in Moscow. Russia selected 11 host cities as venues for the matches: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.