WORLD CUP: European Qualifying preview and squads – Group F

Europe GroupF

In football as in life, history has a habit of repeating itself. Portugal and Russia, who locked horns during the qualifying phase for the 2006 World Cup, again find themselves in the same pool for the qualifying for 2014. On paper, these two teams are likely to contest first place in Group F. Russia have the lead in the race at the moment on 12 points with maximum wins in four game and Portugal are sitting five points adrift. Of the remaining sides in the section, Israel look to have the best chance of keeping pace (currently sharing second with Portugal) with the big two, while Northern Ireland are likely to play their traditional role of awkward customers. Azerbaijan and Luxembourg, meanwhile, will aim to spring an unlikely surprise or two at home.

 

Israel v Portugal, Friday 12:45

 

ISRAEL – Goalkeepers: Dudu Aouate (Real Mallorca), Ariel Harosh (Beitar Jerusalem), Danny Amos (Hapoel Kiryat Shmona)

Defenders: Eyal Meshumar, Yuval Spungin (AC Omonia), Dekel Keinan (Maccabi Haifa), Tal Ben-Haim (Queens Park Rangers), Rami Gershon (Celtic), Eitan Tibi (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Avi Reikan (Beitar Jerusalem), Gal Shish (Waasland-Beveren), Elad Gabai (Ironi Kiryat Shmona)

Midfielders: Eyal Golasa (Maccabi Haifa), Maor Melikson (Valenciennes), Bibras Natkho (Rubin Kazan), Sheran Yeini (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Gal Alberman (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Beram Kayal (Celtic), Eran Zahavi (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Maharan Radi (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Lior Refaelov (Club Brugge), Yossi Benayoun (Chelsea), Wiam Amasha (Maccabi Haifa)

Strikers: Eliran Atar (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Eden Ben Basat (Toulouse), Itay Shechter (Swansea City), Tomer Hemed (Real Mallorca)

 

PORTUGAL – Goalkeepers: Rui Patricio (Sporting), Eduardo (Istanbul BB), Beto (Sevilla)

Defenders: Joao Pereira (Valencia), Bruno Alves (Zenit), Henrique Sereno (Real Valladolid), Luis Neto (Zenit), Fabio Coentrao (Real Madrid), Silvio (Deportivo la Coruna), Pepe (Real Madrid)

Midfielders: Miguel Veloso (Dynamo Kiev), Custodio (Braga), Raul Meireles (Fenerbache), Joao Moutinho (FC Porto), Paulo Machado (Olympiacos)

Strikers: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Silvestre Varela (FC Porto), Helder Postiga (Real Zaragoza), Hugo Almeida (Beşiktaş), Danny (Zenit), Vieirinha (Wolfsburg), Pizzi (Deportivo la Coruna)

 

Luxembourg v Azerbaijan, Friday 19:15

 

LUXEMBOURG – Goalkeepers: Jonathan Joubert (F91), Marc Oberweis (Jeunesse)

Defenders: Guy Blaise (Virton), Eric Hoffmann (Jeunesse), Mathias Jänisch (Differdange), Chris Phillips (Metz), Tom Schnell (Fola), Ante Bukvic (Differdange 03), Kevin Malget (F91), Billy Bernard (Fola)

Midfielders: Laurent Jans (Fola), Gilles Bettmer (Differdange 03), Lars Gerson (Norköpping), Charles Leweck (Etzella), René Peters (RM Hamm Benfica), Mario Mutsch (St-Gall), Christopher Martins (RFCUL), David Turpel (Etzella)

Strikers: Aurélien Joachim (Willem II), Maurice Deville (Elversberg), Stefano Bensi (Fola), Daniel Da Mota (F91), Tom Laterza (Fola)

 

AZERBAIJAN – Goalkeepers: Kamran Ağayev (Baku), Anar Nazirov (Gabala), Salahat Aghayev (Sumgayit)

Defenders: Badavi Guseynov (Qarabağ), Elhad Naziri (Petrolul Ploiești), Rasim Ramaldanov (Simurq), Rashad Sadygov (Qarabağ), Ruslan Abishov (Rubin Kazan), Maksim Medvedev (Qarabağ), Volodimir Levin (Inter Baku), Elnur Allahverdiyev (Khazar Lankaran), Gara Garayev (Qarabağ), Vurğun Hüseynov (Gabala), Ilkin Qirtimov (Simurq)

Midfielders: Mahir Şükürov (Neftchi Baku), Rashad Sadiqov (Neftchi Baku), Javid Huseynov (Baku), Rahid Amirguliyev (Khazar Lankaran), Elvin Mammadov (Baku), Afran Ismayilov (Qarabağ)

Strikers: Vagif Javadov (Qarabağ), Cihan Özkara (Sivasspor), Rauf Aliyev (Baku), Vüqar Nadirov (Qarabağ), Rufat Dadaşov (Kaiserslautern II), Pardis Fardjad-Azad (Sumgayit)

Northern Ireland v Russia, Friday 19:45

 

NORTHERN IRELAND – Goalkeepers: Roy Carroll (Olympiakos), Alan Mannus (St. Johnstone), Michael McGovern (Falkirk)

Defenders: Aaron Hughes (Fulham), Ryan McGivern (Hibernian), Craig Cathcart (Blackpool), Gareth McAuley (West Bromwich Albion), Daniel Lafferty (Burnley), Jonny Evans (Manchester United), Alex Bruce (Hull City), Josh Magennis (Aberdeen)

Midfielders: Steven Davis (Southampton), Oliver Norwood (Huddersfield), Grant McCann (Peterborough), Niall McGinn (Aberdeen), Chris Brunt (West Bromwich Albion), Shane Ferguson (Newcastle United/Birmingham City), Sammy Clingan (Kilmarnock), Paddy McCourt (Celtic)

Strikers: Billy McKay (Inverness Caledonian Thistle), Martin Paterson (Burnley), William Grigg (Walsall), Andrew Little (Rangers), David Healy (Bury)

Withdrawn: Jamie Ward (Derby County)

 

RUSSIA – Goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow), Vladimir Gabulov (Anzhi Makhachkala), Sergei Ryzhikov (Rubin Kazan)

Defenders: Dmitry Kombarov (Spartak Moscow), Alexander Anyukov (Zenit), Alexei Berezutsky (CSKA Moscow), Vasily Berezutsky (CSKA Moscow), Sergei Ignashevich (CSKA Moscow), Georgy Shchennikov (CSKA Moscow), Taras Burlak (Lokomotiv Moscow), Andrei Yeshchenko (Lokomotiv Moscow), Kirll Nababkin (CSKA Moscow), Arseni Logashov (Anzhi Makhachkala), Vladimir Granat (Dinamo Moscow)

Midfielders: Igor Denisov (Zenit St Petersburg), Roman Shirokov (Zenit), Vladimir Bystrov (Zenit), Viktor Fayzulin (Zenit), Alan Dzagoev (CSKA Moscow), Denis Glushakov (Lokomotiv Moscow), Alexander Samedov (Lokomotiv Moscow), Diniyar Bilyaletdinov (Spartak Moscow), Yuri Zhirkov (Anzhi Makhachkala), Oleg Shatov (Anzhi Makhachkala), Dmitri Tarasov (Lokomotiv Moscow)

Strikers: Alexander Kerzhakov (Zenit), Alexander Kokorin (Dinamo Moscow), Maksim Grigoryev (Lokomotiv Moscow)

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