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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yegor Titov Calls for Portuguese Payback

Russia, depleted by injuries, will have revenge in mind when it meets leader Portugal in a World Cup Group 3 qualifier on Wednesday.

The Russians want to avenge a 7-1 drubbing in Lisbon last October, their worst defeat in an international since 1916.

The thumping cost coach Georgy Yartsev and the country's long-serving football chief Vyacheslav Koloskov their jobs, prompting widespread changes.

"It's about time to pay them [Portugal] back, because this defeat has been a thorn in our side since that night in Lisbon," playmaker Yegor Titov told local media.

Titov made his international return after almost two years out on Saturday, coming on as a late substitute in a 2-0 win over Liechtenstein.

The Spartak Moscow captain received a one-year doping ban in January 2004 after testing positive for the stimulant bromantan in a European Championship playoff against Wales in November 2003.

Russia coach Yuri Syomin, who replaced Yartsev midway through the World Cup qualifying campaign, had a different view to Titov's.

"I'll be happy if we can get a win any way we can. A 1-0 victory would do just fine," said Syomin, who is without striker Dmitry Sychyov and playmaker Dmitry Loskov on account of injuries.

Russia captain Alexei Smertin echoed Syomin's view.

"It doesn't matter if we beat Portugal 1-0 or 7-0, both are worth 3 points," said Smertin. "We'll be satisfied with just a simple win."

Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said he would take a draw.

"We're going there to win, but if we draw, that's good too," the Brazilian said.

"I already see light at the end of the [World Cup qualifying] tunnel, but we still have some rocks in the road."

Winger Luis Figo, his country's most-capped player with 114, said: "The wish of every Portuguese, and ours as well, is to guarantee qualification for the World Cup in the tie in Russia. We're expecting a tough game, but we want to win."

A Russian victory on Wednesday would keep alive the country's hopes of reaching next year's finals in Germany, but anything less will be seriously damaging.

Portugal, which has a five-point lead over Slovakia and Russia, looks certain to qualify, given that after the game in Moscow it has only home ties against Liechtenstein and Latvia remaining.

Midfielder Maniche, who was sold by Porto to Dynamo Moscow in May, added spice to what could be a heated encounter at the Lokomotiv Stadium by saying he hated playing in Russia.

"I am not OK, and neither is my family. I don't like the country, I don't like the championship and I don't like the climate," Maniche told Portuguese media.

Scolari was expected to make one change from the team that crushed Luxembourg 6-0 on Saturday, replacing defender Nuno Valente with Alex.