Kerzhakov back for Irish clash
Under-pressure Russian manager Dick Advocaat has recalled maverick striker Aleksandr Kerzhakov ahead of a Euro 2012 qualifying encounter in Dublin his side cannot afford to lose.
The Zenit St Petersburg striker was cast into the international wilderness following Russia's World Cup play-off defeat to Slovenia last November when he was sent off but he could be set for a sensational return at the Aviva Stadium next Friday.
Two hat-tricks in his last three club matches led to a dramatic recall for Kerzhakov as Advocaat struggles to recover from the shock home defeat to Slovakia last month.
Dmitri Torbinski and Dmitri Sychev have been dropped from the squad and Denis Kolodin and Alan Kasaev are also omitted.
Igor Denisov, fit again after a foot injury, returns along with the uncapped duo of Sergey Parshivlyuk (Spartak Moscow) and CSKA Moscow midfielder Pavel Mamayev.
Russia (Squad v Rep of Ireland) -- Goalkeepers: I Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow), V Gabulov (Dinamo Moscow), V Malafeev (Zenit St Petersburg); Defenders: A Anyukov (Zenit St Petersburg), V Berezutski (CSKA Moscow), A Berezutski (CSKA Moscow), S Ignashevich (CSKA Moscow), Y Zhirkov (Chelsea), S Parshivlyuk (Spartak Moscow); Midfielders: D Bilyaletdinov (Everton), I Denisov (Zenit St Petersburg), K Zyryanov (Zenit St Petersburg), R Shirokov (Zenit St Petersburg), V Bystrov (Zenit St Petersburg), A Dzagoev (CSKA Moscow), P Mamaev (CSKA Moscow), I Semshov (Dinamo Moscow); Forwards: A Arshavin (Arsenal), A Kerzhakov (Zenit St Petersburg), R Pavlyuchenko (Tottenham), P Pogrebnyak (VfB Stuttgart).
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