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World Cup Qualifying Preview: Slovenia-Russia
Haules (Chelsea) 7 years ago
Russia enjoy a slender 2-1 advantage from the home leg but now face a tricky return fixture in Maribor against Slovenia....

Possible line-up: Handanovic; Brecko, Suler, Cesar, Jokic; Birsa, Radosavljevic, Koren, Kirm; Novakovic, Dedic

Possible line-up: Akinfeev; Yanbayev, Ignashevich, Berezutski, Zhirkov, Bystrov, Semak, Denisov, Bilyaletdinov; Arshavin, Pavlyuchenko

Players TO watch

Slovenia – Milivoje Novakovic

The German-based targetman is one of the senior members of this relatively young Slovene side, so will have a dual role to fulfil. He will be the player who the team look to for attacking impetus and also guidance if things start going wrong. Novakovic certainly has an eye for goal, and looked like he could cause the Russian defence one or two problems in Moscow.

Russia – Andrei Arshavin

Rapidly becoming the leading light of Russian football, Arshavin, despite not getting his name on the scoresheet, was arguably the most important player at the weekend against Slovenia. His movement created so much space for other colleagues that his contribution was as valuable as that of Bilyaletdinov. Russia may well need to get at least a goal to ensure they are on a flight to South Africa next summer, and if the Arsenal man doesn’t get it himself, you can be certain he’ll have played a crucial role in it.

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