Malta’s opponents in this month’s European Qualifiers leading to the 2022 FIFA World Cup – Russia, Slovakia and Croatia – have all named their squads.
Malta hosts Russia at the National Stadium on Wednesday 24, kick-off at 8:45pm before two matches away from home against Slovakia at the Štadión Antona Malatinského in Trnava on Saturday 27, kick-off at 8:45pm, and against Croatia at the Stadion HNK Rijeka in Rijeka on Tuesday 30, also kicking-off at 8.45pm.
Russia head coach Stanislav Cherchesov named a 27-man squad, almost exclusively made up of players who ply their trade in the Russian Premier League, with the exception of Alexander Zhirov of Sandhausen, Alexander Golovin of Monaco and Alexey Miranchuk of Atalanta.
After travelling to Malta, Russia host Slovenia on Saturday at the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi on Saturday and then travel to Trnava to face Slovakia on Tuesday 30.
The players in the Russian squad are:
Goalkeepers: Anton Shunin (Dynamo Moscow), Soslan Dzhanaev (FC Sochi), Yuri Dupin (Rubin Kazan).
Defenders: Georgy Jikia (Spartak Moscow), Yuri Zhirkov, Vyacheslav Karavaev (both Zenit St. Petersburg), Alexander Zhirov (Sandhausen – Germany), Fedor Kudryashov (Antalyaspor Turkey), Roman Neustadter (Dynamo Moscow), Ilya Samoshnikov (Rubin Kazan), Andrey Semenov (Akhmat Grozny), Igor Smolnikov (Krasnodar), Mario Fernandez (CSKA Moscow).
Midfielders: Ilzat Akhmetov (CSKA Moscow), Alexander Golovin (Monaco – France), Rifat Zhemaletdinov (Lokomotiv Moscow), Roman Zobnin (Spartak Moscow), Alexey Ionov (FC Krasnodar), Daler Kuzyaev, Andrey Mostovoy , Magomed Ozdoev (all Zenit St. Petersburg), Resiuan Mirzov (Khimki), Alexey Miranchuk (Atalanta – Italy), Daniil Fomin (Dynamo Moscow).
Forwards: Artem Dzyuba (Zenit St. Petersburg), Anton Zabolotny (FC Sochi), Alexander Sobolev (Spartak Moscow).