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Page last updated at 15:00 GMT, Tuesday, 9 September 2008 16:00 UK

Hiddink ignores Tottenham request

Roman Pavlyuchenko
Pavlyuchenko scored three goals for Russia at Euro 2008

Russia coach Guus Hiddink will ignore Tottenham's pleas not to play their new 14m striker Roman Pavlyuchenko against Wales in Moscow on Wednesday.

Spurs wrote to the Russian FA asking for the former Spartak Moscow striker to be excused duty in the Lokomotiv Stadium because of an ankle injury.

But Hiddink insists that the 26-year-old will play against Wales in Russia's opening group four match.

"He must give everything for the national side," said Hiddink.

"Only after the match will he consider his obligations to Spurs.

"Spurs did send us a letter suggesting that he did not play. But our medical staff, and those from his previous club say he is healthy, and I must take that same view.

"It was a strong suggestion that we should leave him out, but if you fear injury you would never play anyone. Spurs are being over-concerned.

"There is always the fear of injury. People can fall down the steps! But you should not sign big players if you do not want them to play."

Hiddink has largely stuck by the squad that got him to the semi-final of Euro 2008, but has recalled Zenit St Petersburg striker Pavel Pogrebnyak who missed out with a knee injury.

Goalkeeper Sergei Ryzhykov of Russian Premier League leaders Rubin Kazan is the only newcomer to the 20-man squad.

Guus Hiddink
Russia must prove they can cope with the pressure, we must not be fearful or cautious

Guus Hiddink
Russia will field a side that will be very close to the one that lost the Euro 2008 semi-final against Spain on 26 June in Vienna, with Andrei Arshavin - left out recently by Zenit St Petersburg because of his summer-long transfer saga - certain to start.

"I feel this side has improved, now they have got to make things happen as soon as possible," said Hiddink.

"We know this group will be difficult. Wales will be more difficult than some people expect.

"They are a team in transition, and they are energetic with a strong fighting spirit.

"Small teams are always now better organised, they all make it difficult to play against them and we remember that Wales took points from the Czech Republic and Germany in their last qualification group.

"Russia, though, must prove they can cope with the pressure. We must not be fearful or cautious. We must all take this chance to progress from what we achieved in Euro 2008."

Russia squad: Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow), Vyacheslav Malafeev (Zenit St Petersburg), Sergei Ryzhikov (Rubin Kazan); Aleksandr Anyukov (Zenit St Petersburg), Aleksei Berezutsky, Vasili Berezutsky, Sergei Ignashevich (all CSKA Moscow), Denis Kolodin (Dinamo Moscow), Renat Yanbaev (Lokomotiv Moscow); Diniar Bilyaletdinov, Dmitri Torbinsky (both Lokomotiv Moscow), Vladimir Bystrov, Ivan Saenko (both Spartak Moscow), Yuri Zhirkov (CSKA Moscow), Konstantin Zyryanov (Zenit St Petersburg), Sergei Semak (Rubin Kazan), Igor Semshov (Dinamo Moscow); Andrei Arshavin, Pavel Pogrebniak (Zenit St Petersburg), Roman Pavlyuchenko (Tottenham).

see also
Koumas ruled out of Russia trip
08 Sep 08 |  Internationals
Toshack hopes rookies come of age
09 Sep 08 |  Internationals
Spurs seal 14m Pavlyuchenko deal
01 Sep 08 |  Tottenham
Parry 'just made up the numbers'
08 Sep 08 |  Internationals
Russia team guide
15 May 08 |  Russia
Toshack positive after tough draw
25 Nov 07 |  Internationals
Pick your Wales XI
05 Feb 07 |  Internationals
International tables
26 Nov 07 |  Tables
Wales' international fixtures
22 Aug 07 |  Internationals
Wales' results archive
10 Oct 05 |  Internationals
BBC Sport Wales coverage
23 Mar 08 |  Wales

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