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Russia forward Dzyuba withdraws from Confed Cup

June 2, 2017

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia has suffered another blow ahead of the Confederations Cup as forward Artyom Dzyuba withdrew citing fitness concerns.

Dzyuba, who had previously complained of a knee problem, says he doesn’t want “to take up someone else’s place in the squad because I’m not 100 percent fit,” in a statement issued by the Russian Football Union.

Russia previously lost midfielder Alan Dzagoev, right back Mario Fernandes, and backup goalkeeper Andrei Lunyov to injuries.

Dzyuba’s absence means Fyodor Smolov could be Russia’s main striker for the Confederations Cup, which starts on June 17 with the hosts playing New Zealand in St. Petersburg.

Russia also has forwards Alexander Bukharov, Dmitry Poloz, and Maxim Kanunnikov in its preliminary squad.

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