Russia's national manager Fabio Capello has several selection problems ahead of next week's FIFA World Cup™ qualifier with Northern Ireland, after unveiling his 24-man squad to play in Belfast on 14 August.

The 67-year-old has called some fresh faces into his team including Real Madrid striker Denis Cheryshev and defenders Vitaly Diakov from Russian Premier League leaders Rostov and Georgy Shchennikov from champions CSKA Moscow.

Forward Artem Dzyuba, almost completely ignored by Capello and his predecessor Dick Advocaat when he played at Spartak Moscow, also received a call into the national side after his summer transfer to Rostov on loan. Dzyuba currently leads the Premier League scorers' chart with six goals after four matches.

Capello's former favourite forward Alexander Kerzhakov finally scored in Zenit's first-leg UEFA Champions League qualifier with Nordsjaelland after a seven-month goal draught. Meanwhile, striker Alexander Kokorin, who moved from Dynamo Moscow to Anzhi Makhachkala in the summer transfer move, is sidelined with a heel injury.

Former England coach Capello will also have to fill in some defensive blanks with Alexei Berezutsky of CSKA out for six weeks with a dislocated collarbone and Yury Zhirkov from Anzhi also not fit.

Russia travel to Northern Ireland in a qualifier that was postponed because of heavy snowfall in Belfast in March. Russia are lying second in 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying Group F with 12 points from five games, two points behind leaders Portugal, who have already played seven matches.

 

Russia squad:
Goalkeepers:
Igor Akinfeyev (CSKA Moscow), Vladimir Gabulov (Anzhi Makhachkala), Sergei Ryzhikov (Rubin Kazan

Defenders: Alexander Anyukov (Zenit St Petersburg), Vasily Berezutsky, Sergei Ignashevich, Georgy Shchennikov (all CSKA Moscow), Vladimir Granat (Dynamo Moscow), Vitaly Diakov (Rostov), Alexei Kozlov (Kuban Krasnodar), Dmitry Kombarov (Spartak Moscow)

Midfielders: Igor Denisov, Alexei Ionov, Oleg Shatov (all Anzhi Makhachkala), Alan Dzagoev (CSKA Moscow), Denis Glushakov (Spartak Moscow), Alexander Ryazantsev (Rubin Kazan), Viktor Faizulin, Roman Shirokov, Vladimir Bystrov (all Zenit St Petersburg), Alexander Samedov (Lokomotiv Moscow)

Forwards: Alexander Kerzhakov (Zenit St Petersburg), Artem Dzyuba (Rostov), Denis Cheryshev (Real Madrid/ESP)