Russia call up newcomer Samedov

MOSCOW - Russia coach Dick Advocaat on Friday named newcomer Alexander Samedov in his 20-man squad for next month's Euro 2012 Group B qualifiers against Slovakia and Andorra.

Samedov, 27, has had an excellent season so far for Dynamo Moscow but Advocaat has been reluctant to call up the speedy midfielder to the national team.

"Don't think that I've invited Samedov because of pressure from the media," Advocaat told reporters.

"I think he has deserved his place in the national team with his good performances for his club. Besides, we're missing [injured Lokomotiv Moscow midfielder Dmitry] Torbinsky.

"I can't say right now if Samedov will get a chance to play against either Slovakia or Andorra. We'll just have to wait and see how he performs in training," added the Dutchman.

The Russians will also be without first-choice goalkeeper Igor Akinfeyev, out for the rest of the year with a knee injury.

Russia, who lead second-placed Ireland by two points with Armenia and Slovakia three points adrift, travel to Bratislava to face Slovakia on October 7 before hosting last-placed Andorra in their final qualifier four days later.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Vyacheslav Malafeyev (Zenit St Petersburg), Anton Shunin (Dynamo Moscow)

Defenders: Sergei Ignashevich (CSKA Moscow), Alexei Berezutsky (CSKA Moscow), Vasily Berezutsky (CSKA Moscow), Yuri Zhirkov (Anzhi Makhachkala), Alexander Anyukov (Zenit St Petersburg), Roman Shishkin (Lokomotiv Moscow)

Midfielders: Diniyar Bilyaletdinov (Everton), Konstantin Zyryanov (Zenit St Petersburg), Roman Shirokov (Zenit St Petersburg), Igor Denisov (Zenit St Petersburg), Igor Semshov (Dynamo Moscow), Alan Dzagoyev (CSKA Moscow), Denis Glushakov (Lokomotiv Moscow), Alexander Samedov (Dynamo Moscow)

Forwards: Andriy Arshavin (Arsenal), Roman Pavlyuchenko (Tottenham Hotspur), Pavel Pogrebnyak (VfB Stuttgart), Alexander Kerzhakov (Zenit St Petersburg).