Villa's Barry dismisses Russia conspiracy

England midfielder Gareth Barry has dismissed the "conspiracy theories" surrounding Israel's Euro 2008 qualifier with Russia on Saturday.

There has been speculation that Russia will have an easy ride in securing the win which would effectively end England's hopes of qualifying for next summer's finals.

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The Aston Villa skipper said: "You hear all the conspiracy theories but I am sure every team does their best when they get out there on the pitch and it will be no different with Israel.

"Of course, when it comes to the Israel-Russia game, there is not much I can do except pray, keep the fingers crossed and hope for the result to go in our favour.

"But I was a substitute when we drew 0-0 in Tel Aviv earlier in the group and I know it is a difficult place to go.

"On the day, Israel were well organised, proved very tough for us to break down and showed they could be dangerous in attack.

"That very experience gives me hope that Russia may also find it hard over there.

"It's a case of having your fingers crossed but by no means is everything over.

"Then, if the results over the weekend are beneficial to us, we have to make sure we make the most of being given another chance against Croatia next Wednesday."

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