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Page last updated at 18:17 GMT, Wednesday, 25 June 2008 19:17 UK

Pat Nevin on the role of Roman Pavlyuchenko
How Russia's Roman Pavlyuchenko creates space for the midfielders
I thought Russia would miss injured striker Pavel Pogrebnyak, but clearly they haven't.

Pavlyuchenko is not the most natural striker, but as a one-man forward line with his power running, running into good areas and holding the ball up, there are few better.

He takes up positions that aren't out-and-out striker ones and it can confuse centre-backs as they like a toe-to-toe battle, like the Spanish had with Luca Toni. That was physical, but this will be mentally tough too.

He'll have spells where he goes left or right and Arshavin will be on the other flank and they'll leave a gap in the middle, which is when the midfield players bomb forward.



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