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Russia name squad for Swiss World Cup qualifier

The Russian football coach, Oleg Romatsev, has selected a 19-man squad for next week's World Cup qualifying match against Switzerland.

The most notable omission was that of Spartak Moscow captain, Andrei Tikhonov, who has been dropped following a dramatic loss of form. Spartak’s leading scorer with 19 goals last season, Tikhonov has scored just once in 24 league matches this year.

There was, however, a recall for one of Tikhonov’s team-mates, Spartak midfielder Yegor Titov, who is hoping to recover from a knee injury in time for the match in Zurich on September 2.

Romatsev decided against including the Cameroon-born defender Jan-Christian Tchuise, who was granted Russian citizenship last week.

The match will be the first qualifying game for both countries as they begin their campaigns to reach the World Cup finals in 2002. It will also be the first competitive game for Switzerland’s new coach Enzo Trossero.

Switzerland’s World Cup qualifying campaign runs until October 2001, culminating in the return match against Russia. The six-nation group also includes Slovenia, Luxembourg, the Faroe Isles and European Championship quarter-finalists, Yugoslavia.

Russian squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Alexander Filimonov (Spartak Moscow), Ruslan Nigmatullin (Lokomotiv Moscow)

Defenders: Dmitry Khlestov (Besiktas), Viktor Onopko (Oviedo), Yuri Drozdov, Igor Chugainov, Andrei Solomatin (all Lokomotiv Moscow)

Midfielders: Alexander Mostovoi, Valery Karpin (both Celta Vigo), Dmitry Alenichev (Porto), Yegor Titov (Spartak Moscow), Alexei Smertin (Girondins Bordeaux), Dmitry Khoklov (Real Sociedad), Sergei Semak (CSKA Moscow), Dmitry Loskov (Lokomotiv Moscow), Rolan Gusev (Dynamo Moscow)

Striker: Alexander Panov (St Etienne), Maxim Buznikin (Saturn Ramenskoye), Vladimir Beschastnykh (Racing Santander)

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR