Aleksandr Kerzhakov has returned to the Russia fold after Dick Advocaat named his 21-man squad for this month's UEFA EURO 2012 qualifiers against the Republic of Ireland and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Kerzhakov has not represented the national team since the 1-0 defeat by Slovenia in the second leg of their FIFA World Cup play off last November. His form in recent weeks has proved irresistible, however, scoring two hat-tricks in his last three outings for FC Zenit St. Petersburg.
Club-mate Igor Denisov also returns having recovered from a foot injury and Advocaat has also named two uncapped players in his squad: Pavel Mamaev, the PFC CSKA Moskva midfielder, and FC Spartak Moskva defender Sergei Parshivlyuk. Denis Kolodin, Alan Kasaev, Dmitri Torbinski and Dmitri Sychev are all omitted for the games in Dublin and Skopje on 8 and 12 October. Russia kicked off Group B with a 2-0 win in Andorra last month before losing 1-0 to Slovakia.
Goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeev (PFC CSKA Moskva), Vladimir Gabulov (FC Dinamo Moskva), Vyacheslav Malafeev (FC Zenit St. Petersburg).
Defenders: Aleksandr Anyukov (FC Zenit St. Petersburg), Vasili Berezutski (PFC CSKA Moskva), Aleksei Berezutski (PFC CSKA Moskva), Sergei Ignashevich (PFC CSKA Moskva), Yuri Zhirkov (Chelsea FC), Sergei Parshivlyuk (FC Spartak Moskva).
Midfielders: Diniyar Bilyaletdinov (Everton FC), Igor Denisov (FC Zenit St. Petersburg), Konstantin Zyryanov (FC Zenit St. Petersburg), Roman Shirokov (FC Zenit St. Petersburg), Vladimir Bystrov (FC Zenit St. Petersburg), Alan Dzagoev (PFC CSKA Moskva), Pavel Mamaev (PFC CSKA Moskva), Igor Semshov (FC Dinamo Moskva).
Forwards: Andrey Arshavin (Arsenal FC), Aleksandr Kerzhakov (FC Zenit St. Petersburg), Roman Pavlyuchenko (Tottenham Hotspur FC), Pavel Pogrebnyak (VfB Stuttgart).
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