"All experiments remained in the League of Nations": Bilyaletdinov about the Russian national team, the match with Belgium and Zobnin's injury

For the Russian team, the absence of Roman Zobnin is comparable to the loss of midfielder Kevin De Bruin for the national team of Belgium. About this in an interview with RT said the former head coach of Rubin Rinat Bilyaletdinov. He expressed the opinion that Stanislav Cherchesov would hardly risk experimenting with the line-up in the qualifying match of the European Championship 2020 and told whether his players should play according to the scheme of three central defenders.


- The Russian national team begins the qualifying tournament for the Euro 2020 match with the team of Belgium. How good is it from the point of view of tournament prospects for continuing to experience the change of generations of the team?

- In my opinion, it does not matter with whom to meet - with a weak opponent or a grandee. Perhaps the second option is even better - the team is instantly mobilized.

- Is it fair to say that in the guest game with the Belgians, Russian players need to tune in to a draw?

- Thoughts should be only about winning, but you need to sensibly assess the capabilities of the players of the Russian national team in comparison with rivals. Two years ago, our team met with them and played a draw - 3: 3. The Belgians led with a two-goal difference, and when they eased the pressure a bit, they immediately allowed them to level the score. Of course, this time it is not necessary to wait for such extravagance on their part.

- Will Stanislav Cherchesov decide to release debutants in the game with Belgium?

- The time for experiments has passed, they all remained in the League of Nations. I think Cherchesov will bet on the strongest, and the young ones will get a chance to "smell gunpowder" of important matches. Now you can not scatter points, you need to earn a ticket to the championship of the continent.

- Starting from the World Cup, the Russian national team invariably acted according to a scheme with two central defenders. Is there any chance that Cherchesov will go to the game in three in order to secure his goal as much as possible?

- This option begs. It is no coincidence that the world championship Stanislav Salamovich played the given scheme. This is a more defensive tactic that helps to protect yourself from the opponent’s speed attacks. And the Belgians have someone to escape.

- Is it possible in such a short time to rebuild to another game model?

- Football players have already acted on this scheme, it will not be a wonder to them. But it does not mean playing in a positional attack, and the bet is placed solely on counterattacks. In the event that the team leaves only one striker ahead, the actions become even more defensive in nature. Basically, the opponent is wearing down in his own half of the field.

- In addition, in recent meetings in the center of the Russian national team defense invariably played George Jikia and Roman Neustedter. This time, the Fenerbahce defender didn’t even get into the bid. Who will replace him in the starting lineup?

- The Russian team is not the most reliable center of defense. Our players do not take the dedication and diligence, but this is not enough.

There are such aspects as tactical equipment and starting speed. To compensate for this by playing in tackles is very difficult. The defender is primarily valued by the fact that he can ward off the threat without resorting to desperate actions.

- Probably, Ilya Kutepov was considered as a replacement for Roman Neustedter, first of all, but he was injured in the match with Zenit. In their absence, who do you see as Georgy Djikia's partners?

- Kutepov did the right thing, in spite of the injury came to the location of the national team. In the scheme with three central defenders, together with Spartak could play Andrei Semenov and Maxim Belyaev. Perhaps we should expect the appearance of Vyacheslav Karavaev.

- And if Cherchesov remains faithful to the balance with two players in the center of defense?

- Semenov has enough experience. But it is difficult to draw an unambiguous conclusion based solely on the performances for the club. It is necessary to understand how compatible these players are with each other, and whether they are able to neutralize the leaders of the Belgian national team.

- Georgy Shchennikov, who last called in her in October 2016, returned to the national team. Whose appearance on the left flank is more likely - a player of CSKA or Yuri Zhirkov?

- Over the past years, Zhirkov has established himself as the highest-quality left back of the country. He has the necessary experience, understanding of the game. As for the ability to connect to the attacks, in this he is stronger than all his colleagues on the role. I think Yuri will not let Cherchesov. In this case, you should not write off Schennikov.

- Is Zhirkov in his 35 years able to perform at such a high level?

- It all depends on the attitude of the athlete to the case: how much he observes diets, sleep, exercise and recovery. We have examples of football players who have performed before the age of 40. Suffice it to recall Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Kostakurtu, Javier Zanetti. It is necessary to pay attention not to the player's passport, but to his skills on the field. At his age, Yuri retained speed, and also gained vast experience.

- In addition to Kutepov, the Russian team in the game with Belgium will not be helped by a broken Roman Zobnin. How critical is this for the team?

- Lack of Zobnin can be compared with the loss of Kevin de Bruyne for the Belgian team. The last two years he has performed at a high level. If he is not in the squad, then the national team and Spartak immediately have problems.

- In your opinion, at the moment Zobnin is the best player of the Russian national team?

- Roman perfectly reads the game and is a very important link in defensive actions. In this aspect, it is fully consistent with the level of a good European club.

As for the attack, there Zobnin also tries to act in accordance with the requirements of modern football: it absorbs space, performs a huge amount of work. In this he has no equal in the country. He is considered to be the leading player of the Russian national team.

- Who can make up for the loss of Zobnin?

- To some extent, this is within the powers of Yuri Gazinsky. He is a lot like Roman, but he acts more positionally, mostly in front of the central defenders.

- At the training camp Cherchesov said that Gazinsky is not in the best psychological state due to the unsuccessful series of “Krasnodar”. Should I release a footballer on the field when he is not 100% mentally ready?

- He is no longer a young man. Gazinsky is an experienced athlete and hardly considers the number of unsuccessful matches. In addition, this is a completely different tournament, a man enters the field with fresh emotions.

- In the event that Cherchesov decides to detach two players into the support zone, who will make up Gazinsky's company?

- Depends on the scheme. If we assume that the national team decides to saturate the center line and play three central midfielders, then Alexander Golovin can be placed to the left of Gazinsky and Daler Kuzyaev on the right.

- Could Aleksei and Anton Miranchuk have a place in this scheme?

- Like the good Dobermans, the Lokomotiv midfielders must be released in pairs. When playing in two defensive midfielders, the brothers could easily have settled on the flanks, and Artyom Dzyuba or Fyodor Smolov would have settled in front.

- Apparently, Cherchesov hardly dares to play with Belgium on the road in two strikers?

- When playing in two forwards there is a risk to reduce the density in the middle line. In this case, excessive load will fall on the defenders. The Russian team can be pressed to their gates and forced to act on their own quarter of the field.

- Why?

- The three central defenders will not have time to act across the width, the attacks of the Belgians will go through the flanks. Thus, it makes sense to think about the game of one striker.

- Since the World Cup Dziuba became the indisputable main striker of the Russian national team, but in the match with Belgium, he is unlikely to act first number. Will Artyom be useful in the situation when Russians mostly have to rely on counterattacks?

- It will be very difficult. Of course, Dziuba will try to cling to the programs and win the fight on the second floor. But with all due respect to him, he is not Lukaku and does not possess such remote speed and power. Romelu is a real car. It is not so easy to stop it, regardless of whether it is with a ball or without it. If Artyom had similar qualities, the Russian national team could play without thinking about one forward.

- Are there any prerequisites for a possible debut of Fyodor Chalov in the national team?

- He may well try on the role of the second striker. It is possible that we will see him in the match with Kazakhstan - a less experienced and strong opponent. Chalov is able to play both at the tip and at the end, and with the presence of Golovin as part of it, it is possible to revive the army ligament. Thus, the attacking trio with Artem, Fedor and Alexander has the right to life.

- Is it not paradoxical that Chalov scores to Real Madrid in the Champions League, but at the same time it does not come out in the match for the Russian national team?

“You shouldn’t raise victories over Madrid, however pleasant they may be.” It must be remembered that Ajax scored four goals for Real Madrid, and unlike CSKA, did it in a decisive match. When the team goes to the meeting without the proper mood, then he is severely punished for it. CSKA scored not the most motivated opponent.

- In addition to the injured De Bruine, three leaders of the Belgian team Romele Lukaku, Tom Meunnier and Moussa Dembele will also not play in the match against the Russian team. How will the "red devils" rebuild the game based on personnel losses?

- Probably, Eden Azar will lead his teammates. Although he is also now under serious pressure due to failures in the club. In the final round of the Premier League, the Chelsea lost to Everton.

- How do Russian defenders restrain Azar and Mertens?

- In the absence of Lukaku, who should throw them balls, the Belgians will not be so easy to overcome the defensive order of the Russian national team. But besides Romelu, they have Christian Benteke and Misha Batshuai who can partially make up for his loss.

- In your opinion, how will the meeting between the national teams of Russia and Belgium end?

- Considering the personnel problems of an opponent, the Russian team is able not only to draw, but also to fight for the victory. The success of Cherchesov’s charges does not seem surprising.

REF: https://russian.rt.com/sport/article/613649-bilyaletdinov-rossiya-belgiya-otbor-che

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