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Russian national team coach Guus Hiddink
Russian national team coach Guus Hiddink has said that he is counting on the home support to lift the side when they play Finland on Wednesday evening in Moscow in a World Cup qualifier.

The match comes just four days after Russia were unlucky not to come away from Germany with a point after outplaying the Group 4 leaders for much of the second half. Despite creating chance after chance, the side was unable to make up a two-goal first-half deficit, losing 2-1.

"I'm counting on the deafening support of the fans in the game against Finland," Hiddink told Sport-Express. "They will help us get the upper hand."

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

"We need to qualify for the World Cup," Russian striker Pavel Pogrebnyak told Sport-Express. "How we do it is another issue. Naturally we will fight for first place. The match in Dortmund showed that the Germans are beatable."

As for the Finns, Pogrebnyak said "people are expecting goals from us." He also warned however that Finland, who were unlucky not to beat Germany in Helsinki last month, drawing 3-3 after conceding an equalizer with minutes to go, were "not an easy side" to play against.

The match takes place at the Cherkizovo stadium in northeast Moscow and kicks off at 7:00 p.m. (15:00 GMT). The game will be shown live on Russia's Channel One (Perviy Kanal).

GROUP 4 (3 games unless stated)

Germany - 7

Wales - 6

Finland - 4 (2 games)

Russia -3 (2 games)

Azerbaijan - 1

Liechtenstein - 1


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