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Pogrebynak in Russia's preliminary squad

Coach Fabio Capello selected a strong squad on Monday, one that will be trimmed by seven ahead of next month's showpiece in Brazil.

His decision to hand Reading forward Pogrebnyak an international lifeline was unexpected, with the 30-year-old plying his trade in England's Championship this season.

But his 13-goal haul has obviously impressed Capello, with Pogrebnyak set to break his international drought – which saw him last play at UEFA Euro 2012 – in the coming weeks.

Russia will play friendlies against Slovakia, Norway and Morocco in late May and early June as preparation for the World Cup.

There was no place for Lokomotiv Moscow forward Roman Pavlyuchenko while his club-mate Dmitry Tarasov also missed out.

Pogrebnyak is the only foreign-based member of the squad, which is led by captain Sergei Ignashevich.

Ignashevich, part of a defence that conceded just five goals in 10 European qualifiers, will lean on experienced pair Yuri Zhirkov and Igor Akinfeev.

Zenit forward Aleksandr Kerzhakov is expected to lead the line in Brazil after scoring five goals in Russia's qualifying campaign, which saw them win seven of 10 Group F matches and finish one point ahead of Portugal.

Russia will face South Korea, Belgium and Algeria in Group H at the World Cup.

Squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow), Yuri Lodygin (Zenit), Sergei Ryzhikov (Rubin Kazan)

Defenders: Aleksandr Anyukov (Zenit), Aleksei Berezutski (CSKA Moscow), Vasili Berezutski (CSKA Moscow), Andrey Yeshchenko (Anzhi Makhachkala), Vladimir Granat (Dynamo Moscow), Sergei Ignashevich (CSKA Moscow), Dmitri Kombarov (Spartak Moscow), Alexei Kozlov (Dynamo Moscow), Georgi Schennikov (CSKA Moscow), Andrei Semenov (Terek Grozny)

Midfielders: Igor Denisov (Dynamo Moscow), Alan Dzagoev (CSKA Moscow), Viktor Fayzulin (Zenit), Yuri Gazinskiy (Krasnodar), Denis Glushakov (Spartak Moscow), Pavel Mogilevets (Rubin Kazan), Oleg Shatov (Zenit), Roman Shirokov (Krasnodar), Yuri Zhirkov (Dynamo Moscow)

Forwards: Vladimir Bystrov (Anzhi Makhachkala), Artem Dzyuba (Rostov), Alexei Ionov (Dynamo Moscow), Maxim Kanunnikov (Amkar Perm), Aleksandr Kerzhakov (Zenit), Aleksandr Kokorin (Dynamo Moscow), Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading), Aleksandr Samedov (Lokomotiv Moscow)