MOSCOW, October 14 (RIA Novosti)
The pressure to have mounted on Russia as a result of their perfect start to their World Cup qualifying campaign is sure to ease after Tuesday's match against Azerbaijan, defender Vasily Berezutsky insisted Sunday.
Fabio Capello's men beat Portugal 1-0 on Friday to maintain their 100 percent record after wins against Northern Ireland and Israel last month.
With Russia top of Group F and now solid favorites to qualify for Brazil 2014, the team is suddenly feeling the burden of expectation after their Euro 2012 flop, said Berezutsky.
But, "this pressure will finish after the game against Azerbaijan," the CSKA Moscow defender said.
Berezutsky, who has played every minute of the campaign so far, acknowledged that beating Azerbaijan is all but a formality, saying the team should have an easier ride than the 4-0 win in Israel last month.
"Azerbaijan are a bit weaker than Israel, but this team is growing even though they don't tend to make the finals of the Euro or the World Cup."
The 30-year-old defender has 65 caps and two goals for his country.
Azerbaijan lost their opener 3-0 in Portugal but managed a creditable 1-1 home draw with Israel. They are currently fifth in Group F but have a game in hand over the top three.
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We have witnessed the total defeat of western Ukraine, Western nationalists and the West in general, which made the unfortunate decision to support the anti-government activity. They failed to realize that the collapse of Yanukovych means the collapse of Ukrainian unity. They set fire to their own home and planted a time bomb under Ukraine’s territorial integrity.