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Russia coach Hiddink: Pitch no advantage

Russia coach Guus Hiddink has played down the part the artificial pitch could play in their Euro 2008 qualifier against England.

Hiddink feels his side will not have the upper hand when they take to the synthetic surface for Wednesday's match and has backed the decision to host the game at the 84,000-capacity Luzhniki Stadium.

"There has been a lot of talk about this in the build up to the game," Hiddink said.

"The English team are preparing for the game on an artificial pitch and therefore there will be no real advantage for us."

Conditions in Moscow have taken a turn for the worse over the weekend with rain, sleet and snow falling over the Russian capital and Hiddink has said it would have been wrong for the match to be played on natural grass in such conditions.

"Naturally the psychological aspect [of playing at the Luzhniki] gives us a huge advantage, and the fans will create a fiery atmosphere. It will be difficult for England.

"I consider it the correct decision, and a lot of people will come to the game. Taking into account the poor weather it would have been the wrong decision to play the game on natural grass."



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