Two sides looking to qualify from Group G go head-to-head within a Euro 2016 qualifier earlier this week as Russia host Sweden.
The visitors currently second from the group, while Leonid Slutsky's side are third, just four points behind the other day's opponents.
Russian players celebrate after scoring through the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying football match between Russia and Liechtenstein in Moscow on September 8, 2014© Getty Images
Leonid Slutsky takes power over Russia initially since being named as Fabio Capello's successor a few weeks ago. Capello was sacked in July, while Slutsky merely has been appointed until the end in the qualifying campaign, giving him four matches to generate an impression.
The hosts from the 2018 World Cup are usually in mixed form inside their qualifying campaign, with two wins, two draws and 2 defeats from other opening six fixtures. Both losses came against group leaders Austria, including a 1-0 defeat into their last outing.
One of Russia's wins came over Montenegro, nevertheless the side were awarded a 3-0 victory automatically following crowd trouble. Russia keeper Igor Akinfeev was struck by the flare just moments after kickoff in March, while further problems continued once the referee aimed to get the match back underway.
Russia are actually relatively productive when in front of goal while looking to secure the place in Euro 2016, scoring nine times, just two goals under the group leaders, however they have conceded 4x, which can be twice as frequently Austria.
Russia have never failed to be eligible for a a European Championships since 2000, after they finished a point behind neighbours Ukraine within their qualifying group. They had turned their form around for Euro 2008 though, reaching the semi-finals in the tournament before losing to eventual champions Spain.
A good performance against Sweden could spark a solid finish for the campaign for Russia, since they face Liechtenstein, Moldova and Montenegro inside their remaining fixtures, keeping them in contention for one with the automatic qualification places.
Recent form: WDDLWL
Sweden's forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic kicks the ball close to Portugal's defender Bruno Alves over the FIFA 2014 World Cup qualifier play-off first leg football match Portugal vs Sweden on the Luz stadium in Lisbon on November 15, 2013© Getty Images
Sweden understand that victory over Russia will stick them seven points clear on the third-placed side in Group G, all-but guaranteeing that they will be entitled to next year's tournament in France.
Erik Hamren's side remain unbeaten following the first six fixtures from the qualifying campaign, but are actually held to allures three matches, including their first outing against Russia.
Sweden have won their newest two qualifiers though, including a 2-0 victory over Moldova in March, despite finishing the action a player short after Andreas Granqvist was sent off late on.
It is a tricky week for Sweden, who face group leaders Austria just 72 hours after this tie. If they can avoid defeat to Russia and secure four points from your two matches, Russia will be unable to catch them for second place.
The way of Zlatan Ibrahimovic could possibly be key with the visitors. The Paris Saint-Germain striker has netted braces into their last two qualifiers, and contains five of the 10 goals from your six qualifiers to date.
Sweden have never failed to be entitled to the European Championships since 1996, but have progressed in the group stage with the tournament just one occasion since hosting the presentation in 1992, if they made it to your semi-finals. The team missed out on an area in last year's World Cup though, losing to Portugal in the playoff.
Recent form: DDWDWW
CSKA Moscow's coach Leonid Slutsky gestures in the UEFA Champions League play-offs, second leg football match between CSKA Moscow and Sporting CP, with the Khimki Arena outside Moscow on August 26, 2015.© Getty Images
Sweden have named just one single uncapped player inside their squad because of their upcoming matches against Russia and Austria, including midfielder Abdul Khalili of Turkish side Mersin Idmanyurdu the first time.
Slutsky remains in handle of CSKA Moscow while coaching the Russian national side, but tend to face among his own players, as Pontus Wernbloom is line to get his 48th cap for Sweden.
The Russian coach has included five of his club players within his squad just for this match though, including keeper Akinfeev, who has been struck with a flare trapped on tape, and defender Sergei Ignashevich, who may make his 109th appearance for that team.
While Sweden's squad play across Europe, all-but one in the players in Slutsky's side play of their home nation, so will have seven weeks of club football into their legs. Real Madrid midfielder Denis Cheryshev would be the only member from the Russia squad to experience overseas.
Midfielder Kim Kallstrom are going to be missing for Sweden, having found three yellow cards up to now, while Martin Olsson is often a doubt through injury.
Russia possible starting lineup:
Akinfeev, Ignashevich, Berezutski, Zhirkov, Berezutski, Denisov, Shirokov, Shatov, Cheryshev, Kokorin, Smolov
Sweden possible starting lineup:
Isaksson, Bengtsson, Granqvist, Wendy, Antonsson, Larsson, Ekdal, Wernbloom, Durmaz, Ibrahimovic, Toivonen
Head To Head
When the edges met early from the qualifying campaign last October, Sweden originated from behind to share with you a 1-1 draw with the other day's hosts, although Akinfeev did save a beginning penalty from Sebastian Larsson.
This will likely be just the seventh meeting between two countries. In the six previous matches, each side have won twice, while sharing two draws.
Russia's last conquer Sweden was over the group stage of Euro 2008, while Sweden never have beaten earlier this week's opponents because the group stage on the 1994 World Cup, securing a 3-1 win in Detroit.
Tag : Euro qualification