NOVGOROD Russia (Xinhua) --
Hosts Russia pose a stern test for Uruguay as the teams
prepare to battle for top spot in Group A of the World
Cup, according to Celeste forward Cristhian Stuani.
Both sides have won their opening two matches, but
Russia lead the group on goal difference, having scored
seven goals to Uruguay’s two.
Regardless of the result in Samara on Monday, the
teams are guaranteed of a berth in the round of 16.
"What we have seen from Russia is that they are a
great team," Stuani told a news conference on Saturday.
"They have shown that they play very calmly, they
have players who are physically strong and they can pass
"They are also dangerous on the counterattack."
Before the tournament, many pundits predicted that
Uruguay’s strength lied in an attack led by Luis Suarez
and Edinson Cavani.
However it is the defence that has been most
impressive so far and the Celeste are one of only four
teams that are yet to concede a goal.
They beat Egypt 1-0 in their first match on June 15
and defeated Saudi Arabia by the same scoreline on
"The important thing in this competition is to try to
get a positive result, which can be very difficult," the
Girona player said.
"We managed to win both games by the smallest margin
but on both occasions we competed very well."
Russia ready for
Uruguay challenge: Miranchuk
MOSCOW Russia (Xinhua) --
Hosts Russia will not be intimidated by
two-time world champions Uruguay as they seek to
continue their unbeaten run in the World Cup, midfielder
Aleksei Miranchuk said on Saturday.
Russia sit atop Group A with two wins and seven goals
from their first two matches while Uruguay are second,
having also won their opening two games.
Both teams are already guaranteed of a berth in the
round of 16, regardless of the the result in Samara.
"Uruguay are a dangerous team, they have good
goalscorers," Miranchuk told reporters.
"But we won’t be pushed off our game."
Miranchuk has not been used so far this tournament
but the Lokomotiv Moscow player is ready to be called
off the bench should coach Stanislav Cherchesov need
"I don’t know what’s more difficult, playing in the
match or being on the bench," the 22-year-old said.
"On the bench you worry, but there is no time for
that on the pitch.
"I’m ready to play.
"In a team there are 23 players, not 11.
"I’m waiting for my chance.
doctor Eduard Buzuglov
rejects doping claims
MOSCOW Russia (Xinhua) --
The team doctor of the Russian
football team on Saturday refuted allegation that the
host nation has been doping either before or during the
World Cup finals.
Eduard Buzuglov spoke to the media to explain that
the members of the Russian team competing in the finals
have been tested more than England.
The hosts were expected to struggle in the tournament
but have so far turning in two excellent displays to
beat Saudi Arabia 5-0 and Egypt 3-1.
Statistics show that no other team in the competition
has run as much as the Russians in those two wins,
causing eyebrows to be raised, but Bezuglov insisted the
players are clean.
He said Russian players had given over 300 samples to
FIFA, UEFA and Rusada (the Russian anti-doping agency).
"All of them have turned out to be clean" said the
Doctor, who was annoyed at the British press for
questioning the ethics of the team.
"I am ready to bet that the England team have not
given as many samples, so people should focus on
themselves and have nothing to fear," continued Dr
Buzuglov, who in March had insisted:
"I do not know of any other sport that does not have
a problem with banned drugs.
"But Russian football does not have this problem."