Valery Karpin announced the final composition of the Russian national team for the qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup with Croatia (September 1, inside), Cyprus (September 4, outside) and Malta (September 7, inside). The head coach called all the strongest according to the principle of “you play well in the club team – you are invited to the national team”? Basically yes. We counted at least five more players that Karpin could invite to meet and try in the coaching process. Including three legionnaires. Here are the players:
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Stanislav Krytsyuk, Gil Vicente
Karpin, or rather Vitaly Kafanov’s assistant, who is responsible for selecting and training goalkeepers for the Russian national team, invited five goalkeepers to the national team at the same time – Guilherme, Dupin, Lunev, Maksimenko and Pesyakov. Any of you can name at least five more players in this role that deserve the attention of the coaching staff. But here, perhaps, we will focus on one candidate – Krytsyuk.
First, Stanislav is playing in the league, which is currently higher than the RPL in the UEFA rankings. Second, he just plays and does it well. Last season with Belenenses, the Russian scored 11 shots in 27 matches and had a very high percentage of 77%. This year’s season of Primeira Gil Vicente Kritsiuk started with two “dry” victories and only in the third round did they lose to the mighty Benfica (0: 2). Our legionnaire at the beginning of the championship has 88% of the balls hit. The potential of the 30-year-old goalkeeper is known to Kafanov in the RPL, so we can wait for Stanislav’s invitation to the next training camp.
Alexander Zhirov, Sandhausen
With central defenders in Russian football, everything is still very bad. What to say if there is a place in Carpin’s list for Maxim Osipenko – the representative of the team with the worst defense in the league (conceding 11 goals)? The captain of “Rostov” is a good center back, however he does not yet have the credibility of a national team player.
Ziroff has been playing in the second Bundesliga for Sandhausen for three years. Although the group of stars from the sky is not enough, Alexander became its leader and for a legionnaire this is a real recognition. According to the authoritative German publication Kicker, the 30-year-old Russian is among the 4 top players of Sandhausen. According to Whoscored, Ziroff is generally in the top three. In total, Alexander played 86 games for Sandhausen, in which he scored four goals and made three assists.
Zhirov was called up to the Russian national team under Stanislav Cherchesov, but has not yet made his national team debut. Even earlier, in 2015, Fabio Capello spotted Alexander, who was then playing in the FNL. It would probably be useful for Carpin to look at the central defender in his work.
Photo: Christian Kaspar-Bartke / Getty Images
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Alan Jagoev, CSKA
The day before, Carpin said he had met with Dzhagoev and that the CSKA midfielder could be included in the Russian national team. So, if the coach forgot about Alan, when he first made the appointment and thought about the composition of the team, then he remembered the army player after the first matches of the new season. Indeed, Dzagoev played enough for a call from Karpin.
The question, as usual, is based on the health condition of the 31-year-old midfielder. It takes a two-week break and how long Alan will last in the World Cup qualifiers. CSKA this season with Jagoev on the field looks much better than without him. As soon as an experienced midfielder entered the field, the ball started moving normally for Alexei Berezutski’s team. Although Alan himself did only one effective action – an accurate corner kick to Zambolotny – he really stepped up the army team’s attack. During the period that Jagoev is on the field, CSKA with his participation creates an average of 3.5 opportunities for goals. Very stable index. Carpin could not get over that.
Photo: Dmitry Golubovic, Championship
Ivan Sergeev, “Wings of the Soviets”
Russia learned of Sergeyev last season when striker Krylia Sovetov broke a FNL sniper record. Ivan scored 40 goals in 42 games in the second division, in addition, he added to those three goals in the Russian Cup. He then knocked on the gates of the elite Khimki and Dynamo, however, there were still doubts as to whether the 26-year-old native of Cherepovets could pull off the RPL.
In the first two rounds of the new season, Sergeev did not excel – the doubts intensified. But then he started scoring in every match: Arsenal from the penalty spot, Rubin after going one-on-one, Sochi with a header. Ivan has a valuable skill: he knows how to choose a position in the opponent’s penalty area and he feels where the ball will come from. He scores several goals, so it is not easy for the defenders to predict his actions at the gate. Of course, the RPL rookie still has room to grow, but with Dziuba and Sobolev falling, Karpin could invite a Wings of the Soviets super scorer. However, if Sergeev continues to score steadily, the team will not escape him.
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Stanislav Ilyuchenko, Jeonbuk Hyundai
A player from the South Korean league? Come come! Surely such a reaction would be among the many readers who see Ilyuchenko’s name on the list. After a conversation with some professional scouts who monitor the world markets, the “Championship” correspondent learned that: a) the South Korean championship is not much inferior to the RPL. b) the top local teams – such as Ulsan or Jeonbuk – are comparable in strength to the top in the Russian league. In South Korea, football is less athletic, but there are more players than in the RPL who are constantly on the move and opening up.
At the same time, Ilyuchenko is one of the best in the South Korean championship. He is now in the top 3 scorers and in just two years in the local league (after leaving the second Bundesliga) he has scored 30 goals and 12 assists in 57 games. In addition, in 2021 he is the leader in goals among all Russian forwards – more productive than Dzyuba, Sobolev and Smolov. In the sniper race, Stanislav is ahead of the current strikers of the South Korean national team. Meanwhile, the South Korean team is higher than Russia in the FIFA rankings (36th place) and most of the national team players play directly at home. Ilyuchenko is a classic attacker, he was at least worth knowing.