Russia aim to top Group A, says head coach

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Samara (Russia), June 24 (IANS) Russia aims to reach the knockout stages of the 2018 FIFA World Cup by finishing at the top of Group A, head coach Stanislav Cherchesov said on Sunday.

Earlier in the day, a total of 22 players from the Russian squad appeared for a training session at the 45,000-seat capacity Samara Arena amid hot summer temperatures hovering around 30 degrees Celsius, reports Tass news agency.

The practice session was held ahead of their final group stage match against Uruguay on Monday.

“We are professional footballers and we prepare for each match,” Cherchesov told a news conference here.

“We are not making changes and the team must be prepared at its best for tomorrow’s match. We want to enter the playoffs from the top spot in our group,” he added.

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Both Russia and Uruguay have already secured their places in the Round of Last 16 of the global football championship, each enjoying wins over opponents in their two previous group stage matches.

Monday’s match will decide on the winner of Group A, which also includes Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

“We are preparing for the next match in line with our standard procedures,” Cherchesov stated.

“I will let out on the field (tomorrow) those, how are better prepared and also taking into account recommendations from our medical staff. We are not aiming for any particular substitutions.”

–IANS

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