Russia coach Slutsky brings back Capello's favorites

MOSCOW (AP) New Russia coach Leonid Slutsky has recalled some of his predecessor Fabio Capello's favorite players for the final two group stage matches of qualification for next year's European championships.

For his first two matches in charge, crucial wins against Sweden and Liechtenstein earlier this month, Slutsky shook up the squad by bringing in a raft of veteran players.

The trend toward experience continues, but Slutsky has dropped three fringe players in favor of midfielders favored by Capello.

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Between them, Zenit St. Petersburg's Viktor Faizulin and Lokomotiv Moscow duo Dmitry Tarasov and Alexander Samedov have made 51 appearances for Russia, 49 of them during Capello's three-year tenure, which ended in July.

Russia is in the second automatic qualifying spot in Group G and plays Moldova on Oct. 9 before Montenegro visits Oct. 12.