Soccer

Pogrebnyak included in Russia's preliminary World Cup squad

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The Canadian Press
5/12/2014 11:14:18 AM
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MOSCOW - Reading striker Pavel Pogrebnyak was included in Russia coach Fabio Capello's preliminary squad for the World Cup on Monday.

Pogrebnyak made the 30-man list despite not having played for Russia since Capello took over as coach in 2012. But there was no recall for former Arsenal forward Andrei Arshavin or former Tottenham striker Roman Pavlyuchenko.

Up front, Pogrebnyak faces competition from regular strikers Alexander Kerzhakov and Alexander Kokorin.

Midfielder Roman Shirokov, who has captained Russia in each game the team has played since October, made the cut despite being loaned out by Zenit St. Petersburg following a reported dispute with club officials.

CSKA Moscow goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev and centre back Sergei Ignashevich are among seven to have been on the Russia squad that reached the semifinals of the 2008 European Championship, widely considered the country's greatest football achievement since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Four players — Terek Grozny defender Andrei Semyonov, FC Krasnodar midfielder Yuri Gazinsky, Rubin Kazan midfielder Pavel Mogilevets and Amkar Perm forward Maxim Kannunikov — have never played for Russia.

The 30-man squad will be cut down to a final 23 by June 2, 10 days before play starts in Brazil.

Russia, the 2018 World Cup host, will face South Korea, Belgium and Algeria in the group stage in Brazil.

The Russians will play home friendlies against Slovakia on May 26 and Morocco on June 6, with a match at Norway on May 31.

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Squad:

Goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow), Yuri Lodygin (Zenit St. Petersburg), Sergei Ryzhikov (Rubin Kazan)

Defenders: Alexander Anyukov (Zenit St. Petersburg), Alexei Berezutsky (CSKA Moscow), Vasily Berezutsky (CSKA Moscow), Sergei Ignashevich (CSKA Moscow), Georgy Shchennikov (CSKA Moscow), Vladimir Granat (Dynamo Moscow), Alexei Kozlov (Dynamo Moscow), Andrei Eshchenko (Anzhi Makhachkala), Dmitry Kombarov (Spartak Moscow), Andrei Semyonov (Terek Grozny)

Midfielders: Igor Denisov (Dynamo Moscow), Yuri Zhirkov (Dynamo Moscow), Alan Dzagoev (CSKA Moscow), Yuri Gazinsky (FC Krasnodar), Roman Shirokov (FC Krasnodar), Denis Glushakov (Spartak Moscow), Pavel Mogilevets (Rubin Kazan), Viktor Faizulin (Zenit St. Petersburg), Oleg Shatov (Zenit St. Petersburg)

Forwards: Vladimir Bystrov (Zenit St. Petersburg), Alexander Kerzhakov (Zenit St. Petersburg), Artyom Dzyuba (FC Rostov), Alexei Ionov (Dynamo Moscow), Alexander Kokorin (Dynamo Moscow), Maxim Kannunikov (Amkar Perm), Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading), Alexander Samedov (Lokomotiv Moscow)

Pavel Pogrebnyak (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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