Roman Pavlyuchenko, Dmitry Tarasov omitted from Russia World Cup squad
Lokomotiv Moscow stars Roman Pavlyuchenko and Dmitry Tarasov are the surprise omissions from Russia’s provisional 30-man World Cup squad, announced by coach Fabio Capello on Monday.
Equally surprisingly, Capello has called up veteran forward Pavel Pogrebnyak, 30, who is currently playing in the second tier of English football, the Championship, with Reading.
Capello’s decision to leave out midfielder Tarasov was dictated by the fact he was sidelined earlier this year with a cruciate ligament injury and is unlikely to be fully fit in time for the start of the World Cup in June.
The majority of the squad are based at home, including former Sevilla forward Alexander Kerzhakov, the only Russian player to have appeared at the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan, and former Chelsea winger Yury Zhirkov.
Capello has lined up warm-up friendlies against Slovakia on May 26, Norway on May 31 and Morocco on June 6 in a bid to expose his team to contrasting playing styles ahead of Brazil.
Russia, who qualified as winners of European qualifying Group F, are making their first appearance at a World Cup finals since 2002, and have been drawn in Group H along with Belgium, South Korea and Algeria.
Provisional Russian World Cup squad
Goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow), Yury Lodygin (Zenit St Petersburg), Sergei Ryzhikov (Rubin Kazan)
Defenders: Alexander Anyukov (Zenit St Petersburg), Alexei Berezutsky, Vasily Berezutsky, Sergei Ignashevich, Georgy Shchennikov (all CSKA Moscow), Vladimir Granat, Alexei Kozlov (both Dynamo Moscow), Andrei Yeshchenko (Anzhi Makhachkala), Dmitry Kombarov (Spartak Moscow), Andrei Semenov (Terek Grozny)
Midfielders: Igor Denisov, Yury Zhirkov (both Dynamo Moscow), Alan Dzagoev (CSKA Moscow), Yury Gazinsky, Roman Shirokov (both FC Krasnodar), Denis Glushakov (Spartak Moscow), Pavel Mogilevets (Rubin Kazan), Viktor Faizulin, Oleg Shatov (both Zenit St Petersburg)
Forwards: Vladimir Bystrov (Anzhi Makhachkala), Alexander Kerzhakov (Zenit St Petersburg), Artem Dzyuba (Rostov), Alexei Ionov, Alexander Kokorin (both Dynamo Moscow), Maxim Kanunnikov (Amkar Perm), Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading), Alexander Samedov (Lokomotiv Moscow)
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Published: May 12, 2014 04:00 AM