Kevin Kilbane expects a backlash from Russia when they visit Dublin for next month's Euro 2012 qualifier with the Republic of Ireland.
Euro 2008 semi-finalists Russia were surprisingly beaten 1-0 by Slovakia in Moscow on Tuesday to leave them with three points from their opening two games.
In contrast, Giovanni Trapattoni's side sit at top of Group B on goal difference after their maximum haul following a 3-1 win over Andorra and a 1-0 success in Armenia.
But with Dick Advocaat bringing his side to the Aviva Stadium on 8th October for a potentially pivotal clash, veteran midfielder Kilbane expects the Russians to come out firing.
"Russia will be coming here now a wounded animal and wanting to really put us under a lot of pressure to try and get their campaign back on track," he said.
"But we are at home and we are going into the game full of confidence. We certainly won't get carried away, but we have got six points and we are happy with the first two games.
"If we can take maximum points when Russia come to Dublin, it will give us an advantage.
"They are a really good side, they have got good players and it is going to be tough for us."