- (Photo: Reuters/Lisi Niesner)
Russia plays host to Israel on Tuesday at Petrovsky Stadium in St Petersburg, Russia. They will look to solidify their place in the top half of group F.
This will be an intriguing match given that Israel are currently third in the group and are in danger of not qualifying for next year's World Cup. While Fabio Capello's Russia scored four goals in their victory over Luxembourg last Friday.
Russia currently sit three points ahead of their Israeli opponents in second place, but should they gain a full three points from today's fixture they would overtake current group leaders Portugal who beat a resilient Northern Ireland team thanks to a hat-trick by Cristiano Ronaldo giving Portugal a 4-2 victory.
A loss to Israel, a team who has been impressive in qualification having only lost one match out of seven, would bring the two teams level on points and tied for second place. Should the two remain tied they would face each other in a playoff to see who would advance to the World Cup.
With so much at stake it would be good for Israel to forget drawing Azerbaijan in their last qualifier and focus squarely on the Russians.
For Eli Guttman and his Israeli side attention will be to gain a full three points. The team has one of the top scorers so far in qualification in Tomer Hemed. The striker, who has scored six goals is second only to Bosnia-Herzegovina's Edin Džeko in the European qualification scoring charts, has yet to be called up to the squad. Team captain Yossi Benayoun has also been left out of the squad. For the Russians domestic league top scorer Artyom Dzyuba was also left of Capello's squad.
Kick-off for the match is at 11:00a.m. ET and can be watched online here.