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Russia vs Slovakia FIFA World Cup Qualifiers Tips - Russians expected to triumph
- UEFA FIFA World Cup Qualifiers Group H fixture will take place at Ak Bars Arena
- in Kazan on Friday night (19:45 BST)
- Russia are ranked second in the group with 13 points
- Slovakia are in third spot with 9 points
- Slovakia beat Russia in their last meeting back in March
Russia and Slovakia go at it again. (VLADIMIR SIMICEK/AFP via Getty Images)
This is a key Group H game for the hosts, who are level at the top on 13 points with Croatia.
Russia are unbeaten in their last three games, keeping a clean sheet in all three.
They come into this clash on the back of two 2-0 wins over Cyprus and Malta, beating the latter with goals from Fedor Smolov and Zelimkhan Bakaev.
Vyacheslav Karavaev, Stanislav Magkeyev and Aleksei Ionov are all injured and won't feature in this contest. Artem Dzyuba will also not play while Aleksei Miranchuk is suspended.
Slovakia are third in the table with nine points and will feel they must get something out of this game to keep tabs on the top two.
Their 1-0 loss to Croatia, going down to a late Marcelo Brozovic strike, was hard to take for the Slovaks, although they did bounce back with a 2-0 win over Cyprus last time behind goals from Ivan Schranz and Martin Koscelnik. They are currently ranked third in the group with nine points.
Stanislav Lobotka and Vladimir Weiss have both been ruled out of this match due to injuries.
The two nations have met 10 times with Slovakia winning four (D3 L3), including the last two. They met in Trnava in March and won 2-1 with goals from Milan Škriniar and Róbert Mak, either side of Mário Fernandes’s second-half leveller.
Four of their meetings have contained three goals, but none has contained more than three. Six of their meetings saw both sides net.
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