Russia’s head coach Stanislav Cherchesov gestures to players during the national soccer team's training session in Samara, Russia, June 24, 2018

Russia Head Coach Says Team Think About Uruguay Match, Not Round of 16

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SAMARA (Sputnik) - Russia head coach Stanislav Cherchesov said Sunday that his side were thinking about the upcoming match against Uruguay only, not about the round of 16.

"We don't have any preferences concerning the playoff [opponent]… It's the football god who decides… We haven't actually thought about any other match apart from our match against Uruguay," Cherchesov told journalists.

He added that Russia wanted to win Group A.

"This is the World Cup. The team must be ready for tomorrow's match. We're facing a good team, and we need to do our job. Obviously, we have qualified for the round of 16… This game will be a warm-up ahead of the round of 16. But we want to be the first [in Group A], and we need to achieve result in the game," Chershesov said.

According to Russia head coach, Uruguay play at a completely different level than their other group stage opponents Egypt.

"We were threatened by [Egypt star striker Mohamed] Salah, but nobody managed to [beat Russia]. Tomorrow's match will have a completely different level, intensity and quality. And we're getting ready for it… It depends both on us and on the opponent if we succeed or not," Cherchesov added.

Cherchesov noted that he would not make any special changes in his starting lineup for the upcoming Uruguay match.

READ MORE: GULAG Fears Proven Wrong: Foreign World Cup Fans Share Impressions of Russia

Russia, who qualified for the round of 16 after defeating Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening game of the tournament on June 14 and beating Egypt 3-1 on Tuesday, will face Uruguay in Samara on Monday in a match that will decide which of the teams wins Group A.

"We prepare for this game like we did for the others. Obviously, we have qualified [for the round of 16]. Those who are prepared better will play. Of course, the medical staff will suggest the players who are better prepared for the match. But we are not going to make any special changes," Cherchesov told journalists.

The head coach added that he was focusing on the opponent's strengths and weaknesses.

"We are fighting for the first place [in Group A]. We can't choose the opponent for the round of 16… We haven't made any calculations are aren't going to. I keep my mind on my team. I prepare them [for the match] focusing on the strengths and the weaknesses of the opponent," Cherchesov said.

Russia, who qualified for the round of 16 after defeating Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening game of the tournament on June 14 and beating Egypt 3-1 on Tuesday, will face Uruguay in Samara on Monday in a match that will decide which of the teams wins Group A.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicked off on June 14 and will continue until July 15, with the matches being played in 11 cities across Russia.

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2018 FIFA World Cup, Stanislav Cherchesov, Russia, Uruguay, Samara
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