Veteran defender Sergei Ignashevich is named in Russia's starting lineup for their World Cup opener with Saudi Arabia.
Veteran defender Sergei Ignashevich has been named in Russia's starting lineup for their World Cup opener with Saudi Arabia.
A number of injuries at the back resulted in Ignashevich being brought out of international retirement, and the 38-year-old has been placed in the first XI by boss Stanislav Cherchesov.
Fedor Smolov will lead the line for Russia with Alan Dzagoev and Aleksandr Golovin offering support in attack, while former Chelsea man Yuri Zhirkov features at left-back.
As for Saudi Arabia, coach Juan Antonio Pizzi has opted to select Mohammad Al-Sahlawi as the lone forward, with Muhannad Assiri having to make do with a place among the replacements.
All but three of the squad play in their homeland, but Yahya Al-Shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari - of Leganes and Villarreal respectively - both have a role to play in midfield.
Saudi Arabia head into Thursday's contest having failed to win a match in their last three appearances at a World Cup.
Russia: Akinfeev; Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov; Gazinskiy, Zobnin, Samedov, Golovin, Dzagoev; Smolov
Saudi Arabia: Al-Maiouf; Alburayk, Os Hawsawi, Om Hawasawi, Al-Shahrani, Otayf, Al-Dawsari, Al-Faraj, Al-Jassam, Al-Shehri, Al-Sahlawi
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