Romantsev restores harmony: Russia

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1 Dimitri Kharin Chelsea

Has not managed a regular place in goal for his club, and may not do so for his country (Age 27, 34 caps).

2 Omar Tetradze Alania Vladikavkaz

Georgian-born all-rounder with fierce shot who can play in defence or midfield (26, 20).

3 Yuri Nikiforov Spartak Moscow

Outstanding defender who was outstanding in Spartak's European Cup run this season (25, 29).

4 Ilya Tsymbalar Spartak Moscow

Classy midfielder with fine technique who reads the game well. Cartilage operation at start of the year (26, 13).

5 Yuri Kovtun Dynamo Moscow

A central defender with good heading ability who likes to go forward. Is a useful weapon at corners (26, 14).

6 Valeri Karpin Real Sociedad

Estonian-born player who likes to attack up the right wing and can also play as striker (27, 28).

7 Viktor Onopko Real Oviedo

Ukrainian-born all-rounder, usually operates in midfield but can play in defence. Central to the team (26, 41).

8 Andrei Kanchelskis Everton

Ukrainian-born winger, potential matchwinner on his day. Among rebels who opposed previous coach (27, 41).

9 Igor Kolyvanov Foggia

Talented striker now playing in Italy after starting out with Dynamo Moscow. A goal poacher (28, 39).

10 Alexander Mostovoi Strasbourg

Superb ball-player who has lacked consistency. Cool in front of goal. Formerly with Benfica (27, 31).

11 Sergei Kiriakov Karlsruhe

Sharp striker with good control and ability to turn in tight situations. Started out with Dynamo Moscow (26, 32).

12 Stanislav Cherchesov Tirol Innsbruck

Bulky and reliable goalkeeper has finally established himself after several years as an understudy (32, 36).

13 Yegeni Bushmanov CSKA Moscow

Promising defender formerly with Spartak Moscow. Has yet to win a regular place in the Russian team (24, 2).

14 Igor Dobrovolski No club

Skilful attacking midfielder, most recently with Dynamo Moscow but currently without a club (28, 42).

15 Igor Shalimov Udinese

Experienced midfield player who was part of the rebellion against the former coach, Sadyrin (27, 42).

16 Igor Simutenkov Reggiana

Forward who made his League debut at 17 for Dynamo Moscow. Went to Italy in 1994 (23, 6).

17 Vladimir Beschastnykh Werder Bremen

Tall striker with flowing blond hair. Very quick and good passer of the ball. Likes collecting soft toys (22, 16).

18 Igor Yanovski Alania Vladikavkaz

Young midfielder who has had a good season for Alania (formerly Spartak) Vladikavkaz (22, 0).

19 Vladislav Radimov CSKA Moscow

Young and promising midfielder who has broken into the national side. May be on the bench (20, 6).

20 Sergei Gorlukovich Spartak Moscow

Veteran defender who has made an unexpected return to the squad after a spell out of favour (34, 35).

21 Dimitri Khokhlov CSKA Moscow

Industrious young midfielder, another unexpected selection (20, 0).

22 Sergei Ovchinnikov Lokomotiv Moscow

Third-choice goalkeeper, formerly with Dynamo Moscow (25, 2).

l Cap totals correct after friendly v Belgium, 24 April 1996.

The team

Russia look a formidable force and have put a bad 1994 World Cup firmly behind them. There are no world-class players but as a unit they are slick and quick, good on the ball and aware off it. Nikiforov, a defender who loves to come forward and shoot from long range, and Everton's Kanchelskis are key players.

The coach

Oleg Romantsev, capped 10 times at left-back by the Soviet Union, won a hat-trick of Russian titles with Spartak Moscow in 1992, '93 and '94. He replaced Pavel Sadyrin in charge of the national team in 1994, and coached both club and country until December last year. Has restored harmony to the squad after the squabbles of USA 94.

The fact file

Previous appearances in finals: Soviet Union: 1960 (winners), 1964 (runners- up), 1968 (fourth place), 1972 (runners-up), 1976 (quarter-finals), 1988 (runners-up). CIS: 1992 (first round).

Qualifying record: W8, D2, L0 (Group Eight winners).

Top scorer in qualifiers: 5 Kolyvanov.

Most appearances in qualifiers: 10 Onopko.

Population 148m. Registered clubs 43,700. Registered players 2.1m. Professional players figures unavailable.

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