Russia coach Dick Advocaat admits Aiden McGeady poses a big threat to his side against Republic of Ireland.
Advocaat has been impressed by McGeady's impact at Spartak Moscow and admits he is surprised how quickly has settled into Russian club football following his summer switch from Celtic.
Former Rangers boss Advocaat is well aware of the danger McGeady poses and he is determined to keep the winger quiet in Friday's Euro 2012 qualifier.
"I know him from Celtic and there he was already a great talent," said Advocaat. "He's a dangerous player. If we give him the space to play, then he can damage many defenders, but we are not intending to do that.
"I know they are very happy at Spartak with him. That kind of player, who can pass, who can score a goal, who can cross a ball, there are not so many players of that calibre.
"I was also quite surprised he has done so well. He has adjusted so quickly. He has only been there for two months and, if you go abroad, the majority of players need more time to feel comfortable. But from the beginning he was the key player of their team."
Advocaat admits the pressure is on Russia ahead of the Republic showdown after losing last month at home to Slovakia.
"There is always pressure in qualification games but there is certainly pressure after the defeat by Slovakia," added Advocaat. "We know the importance of this game - a win or a draw but we cannot lose.
"We have a way of playing and if everyone is there we are a good team. They have to show they can play football tomorrow but they must also have confidence in themselves.
"I was really disappointed with the result against Slovakia but I was not disappointed with the commitment of the team.
"I have the feeling the players are in better form, the players are playing more regularly for their club sides so I have a much better feeling than I had before."
Zhirkov boostOne such player is Chelsea full-back or winger Yury Zhirkov. The 27-year-old had not played for a month when he turned out against Slovakia but goes into this game having featured in the Blues' last five outings.
"It's always difficult if you're not a regular but the last couple of weeks he has played games," noted Advocaat. "You could see against Slovakia, that was not his best performance, but now in training he looks much sharper."