England boss Steve McClaren has refuted suggestions that Friday's friendly against Austria is pointless.
Russia travel to Israel on Saturday knowing victory will virtually seal their place at Euro 2008 and end England's hopes of qualification.
But the under-fire boss remains defiant the game against Josef Hickersberger's side is necessary to deflect attention away from the Croatia game.
"The game is there for two reasons," he said. "Firstly, we needed some kind of preparation for Croatia, so we had a chance to look at a few things.
"It would also be good to make sure the 10 days is not solely focused on Croatia.
"Nevertheless, I wouldn't say what we do on Friday will definitely be what we do on Wednesday."