Russia defender Sergei Ignashevich said on Wednesday that having three "very different" strikers is the “trump card” of Spain, the team World Cup hosts Russia will be facing in the Round of 16 match in Moscow on Monday morning AEST.
“It is a luxury to have three very different strikers. When Diego Costa gets tired, Rodrigo Moreno, who has the speed, comes on, and then Iago Aspas comes on to help him. It complicates things for defenders, you have just adjusted to one, when another steps out. It is Spain’s trump card,” Ignashevich told journalists.
He added that “both forwards and defenders now play more carefully” because of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system, which enables match officials to review video replays of game episodes.
Russia thrashed Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the World Cup opener and went on to beat Egypt 3-1, but lost 3-0 to Uruguay in the final group stage much, finishing second in Group A and advancing to the knockout stage of the tournament for the first time.