Russia will be without strikers Andrei Arshavin and Aleksandr Kerzhakov for their friendly away against fellow UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifiers Romania on 26 March.
Time to adapt
Guus Hiddink has opted to omit the pair for the trip to the Steaua Stadium in Bucharest as Arshavin is due to serve a two-match ban which will keep him out of Russia's first two Group D games – against Spain and holders Greece – in Austria and Switzerland this summer. Kerzhakov, who returned to his homeland to join FC Dinamo Moskva from Sevilla FC last month, has been given more time to re-adjust to life in Russia after his move.
In their absence, Hiddink has turned to Sporting Clube de Portugal midfielder Marat Izmailov – who won the last of his 31 caps in October 2006 and is seen as a possible replacement for the creative Arshavin for this summer's finals – although 1. FC Nürnberg forward Ivan Saenko is also left out. FC Moskva forward Roman Adamov and Roman Shirokov, who has impressed since dropping back into defence from his usual midfield role, are the only uncapped players in the squad having been called up for the first time for last month's training camp in Turkey.
Goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeev (PFC CSKA Moskva), Vladimir Gabulov (FC Amkar Perm), Vyacheslav Malafeev (FC Zenit St. Petersburg).
Defenders: Aleksandr Anyukov (FC Zenit St. Petersburg), Aleksei Berezutski (PFC CSKA Moskva), Vasili Berezutski (PFC CSKA Moskva), Sergei Ignashevich (PFC CSKA Moskva), Denis Kolodin (FC Dinamo Moskva).
Midfielders: Diniyar Bilyaletdinov (FC Lokomotiv Moskva), Dmitri Torbinskiy (FC Lokomotiv Moskva), Vladimir Bystrov (FC Spartak Moskva), Yuri Zhirkov (PFC CSKA Moskva), Konstantin Zyrianov (FC Zenit St. Petersburg), Roman Shirokov (FC Zenit St. Petersburg), Marat Izmailov (Sporting Clube de Portugal), Igor Semshov (FC Dinamo Moskva).
Forwards: Roman Adamov (FC Moskva), Roman Pavlyuchenko (FC Spartak Moskva), Dmitri Sychev (FC Lokomotiv Moskva), Pavel Pogrebnyak (FC Zenit St. Petersburg).