Pavlyuchenko threat to Wales

It was difficult to tell who was the more frustrated at the news that Roman Pavlyuchenko will be appearing in Moscow tonight in Russia's World Cup qualifier against Wales – Tottenham or John Toshack. While the former saw a written plea rejected for their new £14m striker to be rested because of what they claim is an ankle injury, the latter would have simply been bemoaning that Guus Hiddink will enjoy a near full-strength squad, while his own is drastically depleted.

Monday brought yet another defection from Toshack's ever-shrinking troops when Paul Parry 'retired' from international football complaining of "making up the numbers", despite the Cardiff forward being guaranteed a starting place in Wales's second qualifier. With Craig Bellamy still sidelined and Jason Koumas also ruled out after the weekend's 1-0 win over Azerbaijan, it means that Toshack will likely ask Ched Evans, the 19-year-old Manchester City striker, to play the lone role in attack.

Although Wales came very close to beating Russia in the Euro 2004 play-offs, anything but a defeat will be a major fillip for Toshack.

Alongside Andrei Arshavin, Pavlyuchenko will be the most obvious danger, although Spurs will really wish Wales were being spared. Hiddink was almost contemptuous towards the north London club's appeal yesterday. "Spurs did send us a letter suggesting that he did not play, but our medical staff say he is healthy," said Hiddink.

"He must give everything for the national side and only after the match will he consider his obligations to Spurs. There is always the fear of injury. People can fall down the steps! But you should not sign big players if you do not want them to play."

Meanwhile, former Tottenham striker Sergei Rebrov has warned Pavlyuchenko about life in north London. Rebrov claimed many residents living near White Hart Lane were "dark skinned" and there was a lot of crime as a result. He also said Pavlyuchenko should avoid walking around at night if he wanted to avoid being a "robbery victim".

Wales probable (4-5-1): Hennessey (Wolves); Gunter (Spurs), Morgan (Peterborough), A Williams (Swansea), Bale (Spurs); Davies (Fulham), Fletcher (Crystal Palace), Robinson (Toronto), Edwards (Wolves), Ledley (Cardiff); C Evans (Manchester City).

Results: Liechtenstein 0 Germany 6; Wales 1 Azerbaijan 0.

Wales' remaining fixtures: Today Russia (a); 11 Oct Liechtenstein (h); 15 Oct Germany (a); 28 March 2009 Finland (a); 1 April Germany (h); 6 June Azerbaijan (a); 9 Sept Russia (a); 10 Oct Finland (a); 14 Oct Liechtenstein (a).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'