Russia announce 30-man provisional squad; Arshavin and Pavlyuchenko dropped
Russia’s coach, Fabio Capello, has announced a 30-man provisional squad for the FIFA World Cup 2014. The squad was revealed just after Roy Hodgson announced the England squad for the tournament in summer.
Capello has scheduled warm-up friendlies against Slovakia on May 26, Norway on 31 May and Morocco on 6 June to expose his players to contrasting styles of play. By June 2, he will determine the final 23 men that he should take with him to Brazil.
Andre Arshavin and Roman Pavlyuchenko do not get to reinstate their places from the previous World Cup while Dmitry Tarasov of Lokomotiv Moscow has been surprisingly excluded by the Italian.
Meanwhile, the inclusion of old-timer Pavel Pogrebnyak comes as a startling selection by Capello. The 30-year-old who plays in the 2nd division of English football with Reading has been called up as the only player who plays outside of Russia.
Other notable selections include Alexander Kerzhakov of Zenit who is the only player to have featured in the 2002 World Cup. Alan Dzagoev of CSKA Moscow finished as joint top-scorer at Euro 2012, regains his role in midfield.
Russia have been placed in Group H alongside Belgium, South Korea and Algeria. They begin their group stage qualification phase on June 17 against South Korea.
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 Yeschenko (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/ENG), Alexander Samedov (Lokomotiv Moscow)