Russia look to finish in style
A look ahead to Tuesday night's World Cup qualification matches in Group F, including Russia's clash with Azerbaijan.
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Russia defender George Shennikov is quick to stop talk of his side already having secured their place at next year's World Cup finals ahead of their final Group F match against Azerbaijan.
Fabio Capello's side need a point from the match to qualify for Brazil as group winners, and CSKA Moscow player Shennikov is not taking anything for granted.
"All the talk about the fact that the Russian team had already gone to the World Cup - is premature," Shennikov told the Russian Football Federation's official website.
"We still have to play one more very important match. We will play to win, I want to successfully complete the qualifying tournament.
"To get to the World Cup, we have to take the final step and we are ready to do so. We will make every effort to achieve the desired result."
Midfielder Roman Shirokov agreed, adding: "We are gearing up and we will play to win. Our attitude is the most serious and we are preparing for a difficult match.
"Azerbaijan perform well at home and will try to please their fans."
Portugal must win their match against bottom side Luxembourg to stand any chance of making the finals automatically, but Russia must also lose for that to be a possibility and Paulo Bento's side have to increase their goal difference sufficiently to overtake them. Theirs is currently plus eight, with Russia's plus 15.
Russia top the group with 21 points, three ahead of Portugal, who are not assured of a play-off place if they finish second due to the fact that three different sides can finish bottom.
Bento told a press conference: "We now have the opportunity to finish this qualifying better, trying to play better and win. These are the main goals for the game tomorrow.
"We are very close to achieving a second objective, which is the play-off. To achieve the first objective (automatic promotion) rely on other situations that can happen."
Northern Ireland face Israel in Tel Aviv in the final match. Israel are hoping to finish third, with Northern Ireland hoping a win can see them finish fourth ahead of Azerbaijan.