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Russia coach Karpin leaves out captain Dzyuba for Malta World Cup qualifier

Russia’s new national team coach Valery Karpin has sprung a number of surprises in his first ever squad list ahead of the three games from the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifications, including against Malta on September 7 at the stadium of Spartak Moscow.

One of the major surprises is the non-inclusion of clinical scorer and national team captain Artem Dzyuba, who is linked with a move from Zenit St Petersburg to Fenerbahce of Turkey.

Dzyuba, who scored 30 goals in 55 caps, was left out from the starting line-up by Zenit in their 1-1 draw against Lokomotiv Moscow over the weekend.

“They aren’t in form for different reasons. Artem (Dzyuba) is not in the Zenit’s starting formation, (Aleksandr) Sobolev is not playing. To play for the national team, you have to play for your club,” coach Karpin said according to media sources in Russia.

Sobolev – 3 goals in 8 international matches – is the other surprise as well as the Spartak Moscow forward was not included in the squad.

Both Dzyuba and Sobolev had scored for Russia in their 3-1 win over Malta when the two teams met in the opening qualifier.

The Russia squad includes 2003-born Arsen Zakharyan, tipped as one of the best upcoming talents in Russia. He is on the books of Dynamo Moscow, with whom he scored one goal in four games this season.

Karpin is taking the reins from Cherchesov, who led the Russian football team to the quarter-finals of the 2018 World Cup at home, but was heavily criticised in Russia after his side’s early elimination in the group stages of Euro 2020. 

Born in Soviet Estonia, Karpin played for Spartak Moscow from 1990 to 1994 and then moved on to play for Valencia, Celta Vigo and Real Sociedad in Spain. 

He played once for the transitional CIS national team and then won 72 caps for Russia, scoring 17 goals

He retired as a player in 2005. 

He started his management career at Spartak in 2012 and has managed Rostov since 2017. He led them to a ninth-place finish in he 16-club league last season.

The federation said Karpin, who is 52, had agreed to a contract until the end of the year, “with the possibility of the further extension of the agreement.” 

Federation’s president Alexander Dyukov described Karpin is “one of the best Russian players of his generation.” 

“He played very well for both clubs and the national football team,” Dyukov said in the statement published in the federation’s website when Karpin was announced.

He added that after ending his career as a player, Karpin gained “rich managerial experience” and that coaching the national team will be a “new challenge” for him.

SQUAD:

GOALKEEPERS: Marinato Guilherme (FC Lokomotiv), Yuri Dupin (FC Rubin), Alexander Maksimenko (FC Spartak), Sergey Pesyakov (FC Rostov).

DEFENDERS: Igor Diveev (PFC CSKA), Stanislav Makgeev (FC Lokomotiv), Dmitry Chistyakov (FC Zenit), Georgy Dzhikia (FC Spartak), Maxim Osipenko (FC Rostov), ​​Mario Fernandez (PFC CSKA ), Vyacheslav Karavaev (FC Zenit), Ilya Samoshnikov (FC Rubin), Sergey Terekhov (FC Sochi), Fedor Kudryashov (FC Antalyaspor).

MIDFIELDERS: Dmitry Barinov (FC Lokomotiv), Maxim Mukhin (PFC CSKA), Alexander Golovin (FC Monaco), Alexander Erokhin (FC Zenit), Daler Kuzyaev (FC Zenit), Roman Zobnin (FC Spartak), Aleksey Miranchuk (FC Atalanta), Daniil Fomin (FC Dynamo), Arsen Zakharyan (FC Dynamo), Zelimkhan Bakaev (FC Spartak), Rifat Zhemaletdinov (FC Lokomotiv), Aleksey Ionov (FC Krasnodar), Denis Cheryshev (FC Valencia), Denis Makarov (FC Dynamo).

FORWARDS: Fedor Smolov (FC Lokomotiv), Anton Zabolotny (PFC CSKA), Konstantin Tyukavin (FC Dynamo).

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