Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill isn't surprised Arsenal midfielder Andrey Arshavin is missing from Russia's line-up for tonight's World Cup qualifier.

O'Neill is convinced he knows why.

"Capello's Russia work harder than Dick Advocaat's Russia did," he said. "I saw them in the Euros under Advocaat, and the players who have come in since have given them a higher work ethic than they have when Arshavin plays.

"There's no doubting Arshavin's quality, but the national team is probably stronger without him."