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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 July 2007, 13:06 GMT 14:06 UK
England to play on synthetic turf
The Luzhniki Olympic stadium hosted last season's Russian Cup final
Luzhniki Olympic stadium hosted last season's Russian Cup final
England's Euro 2008 Group E qualifier against Russia in October is set to be played on an artificial pitch.

The game, due to be played on Wednesday 17 October, will be played at Moscow's 84,000-seat Luzhniki Olympic stadium.

"It is 99.9% certain it will be held on a synthetic pitch," said a spokesman for the Russian Football Union.

"Russian coach Guus Hiddink wanted the match played on natural grass, but I don't think it would be possible to lay out the turf in time for the game."

606: DEBATE
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The Luzhniki Stadium will also be the host for next season's Champions League final, which will be played on grass.

England, who are fourth in Group E, meet Russia at Wembley on 12 September before October's Moscow return which could be decisive.

But England coach Steve McClaren is reported to be relaxed about playing on an artificial surface.

"An FA delegation travelled to Moscow earlier this week and we understand the match will be played on an artificial surface," said an FA spokesman.

"Steve McClaren is aware of this and is looking forward to preparing accordingly."

McClaren is aided by the fact his two preferred training grounds, Manchester United's Carrington complex and Arsenal's London Colney, both have synthetic surfaces, although the Gunners' is indoors.

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