Kerzhakov ready for battle

Misfiring striker confident Russia can reach the quarter-finals

Aleksandr Kerzhakov: Russia only need a point against Greece to qualify for the knockout stages

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Russia striker Aleksandr Kerzhakov is expecting a war of attrition against Greece on Saturday in the tussle for a place in the knockout stages of Euro 2012.

A draw against the 2004 European champions would be enough to send Dick Advocaat's men into the quarter-finals after an earlier win over Czech Republic and a share of the points with Poland.

But despite recording just one point so far in Group A, Fernando Santos' Greece, who did not lose a match in Euro 2012 qualifying, can themselves reach the last eight if they defeat Russia in Warsaw on Saturday.

It therefore promises to be a tense and engrossing encounter at the National Stadium and Kerzhakov, who has come in for criticism after missing the target with 10 shots so far at Euro 2012, expects a cagey match.

"The midfield will probably be very packed in this game, so we will have to work hard to create space and chances and put ourselves in a position to score goals"

Aleksandr Kerzhakov

Quotes of the week

"Our last game is against Greece, who won the tournament in 2004," he said in association with adidas.

Perfect response

"They have played in the major tournaments since then and did well in qualifying, so we expect the game to be tight.

"The midfield will probably be very packed in this game, so we will have to work hard to create space and chances and put ourselves in a position to score goals.

"They have players like (Giorgos) Karagounis and (Theofanis) Gekas who have good tournament experience, so we expect them to be tough to break down."

Progression to this summer's knockout stages would be a return to form for Euro 2008 semi-finalists Russia after they lost to Slovenia on away goals in the qualification play-offs for the 2010 World Cup finals.

And Kerzhakov said: "We were obviously disappointed not to qualify for the World Cup in South Africa but we had the perfect response in winning our Euro 2012 qualifying group.

"We feel like we have a good chance of progressing through our group and we are pleased with our performance so far."

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