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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Karlsruhe Match Russia's Chance to Save Face




After a scoreless draw two weeks ago in Germany, Russian champion Spartak Moscow faces a must-win situation in the UEFA Cup as well as a chance to restore some national pride against Karlsruhe.


Victory Tuesday night in the return leg at Dynamo stadium will not only put Spartak into the UEFA Cup quarterfinals next spring, but also keep alive Russia's small presence in international competition after its national team's failure to qualify for the World Cup.


The oldest stadium in Moscow, the site of the memorable snowstorm battle between Russia and Italy in the World Cup qualifier in late October, Dynamo has never hosted soccer matches in the winter months and game conditions will be far from perfect.


A temperature close to minus 10 degrees Celsius is forecast, with a strong chance of snow.


Spartak, which has been left without regular league competition after the end of the Russian championship a month ago, has been training in Moscow rather than going abroad for a warmer climate, working out twice a day at its training base in suburban Tarasovka.


Meanwhile Karlsruhe, which beat Werder Bremen 4-2 away last Saturday in the Bundesliga match, arrived in Moscow on Monday and was set to practice at Dynamo in the evening to get accustomed to the snowy pitch.