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Andrei Arshavin has said that the most important thing
Andrei Arshavin has said that the most important thing for the Russian national side during their World Cup qualifier in Germany on Saturday will be to remain calm.

Russia face Germany in Dortmund a month after opening their Group 4 qualifying campaign with a 2-1 win at home to Wales. Germany came from behind to earn a point in a thrilling 3-3 draw against Finland in Helsinki the same evening, having won their group opener in Liechtenstein 6-0.

"What will be the most important thing for us in the encounter? We need to, how can I say it, not get scared," Arshavin told Sport-Express.

"I don't have any nerves before the game," he said. "It was a pity that we didn't play Germany instead of Spain in the Euro 2008 semifinals. Then, Germany looked beatable."

Spain knocked Russia out of Euro 2008, beating them 3-0 to reach the final, where they beat Germany 1-0.

"A draw would be more acceptable for us than the Germans, as we are playing away," the Zenit St. Petersburg player said. "They'll probably try and seize the initiative from the kick-off."

Russia's qualifying campaign continues with a home game against Finland on Wednesday. They will be without a number of key players for both qualifying matches.

Striker Roman Pavlyuchenko is expected to be out for three weeks after limping off the pitch on Sunday with a partially torn knee ligament. The side had already lost Dynamo Moscow defender Denis Kolodin and Spartak Moscow midfielder Dmitry Torbinskiy to injury.

However, Arshavin's Zenit teammate Pavel Pogrebnyak, who missed his club's 8-1 win over Luch Energiya at the weekend, is expected to be fit for the two games.

There are nine groups in the European qualifying zone. Each group winner earns an automatic place at the 2010 World Cup, while the best eight second-placed teams will play off against each other for the remaining four spots.

The 2010 World Cup will take place in South Africa, the first time it has been awarded to an African country.


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