MOSCOW (AP) A string of injuries have forced host Russia to select an inexperienced squad for the Confederations Cup.
Only nine of the 23 players selected were in last year’s European Championship squad, as coach Stanislav Cherchesov tries to replace older players.
In come fresh faces like defenders Georgy Dzhikiya and Ilya Kutepov, who helped Spartak Moscow to the Russian title this season.
Midfielders Alan Dzagoev and Roman Zobnin missed out through injury, while a knee problem for Zenit St. Petersburg’s Artyom Dzyuba leaves Fyodor Smolov as the main threat in an attack with limited international experience.
Russia, which opens against New Zealand on June 17, is the only country to name a Confederations Cup squad containing only players from its domestic league.