Coach - we may blood youth
Goalkeeping coach Alexander Ubarov hints Israel may play a below strength team against Russia
Last Updated: 14/11/07 7:51am
England's hopes of an Israeli upset in the crucial Euro 2008 qualifier with Russia on Saturday have been dealt another blow after the home side's goalkeeping coach hinted they may field an understrength team.
Russian-born Alexander Ubarov has also admitted he "would love Russia to qualify".
Steve McClaren's men will be all but eliminated from reaching next summer's finals in Austria and Switzerland if Russia win in Tel Aviv.
Ubarov told Israeli sports website, one.co.il: "We may have some youngsters on the pitch - the kind of players who would give it (their) all since they are eager to prove themselves.
"In the 18 years I have been involved with the Israel squad, we have never done anything but try our best in every single match.
"I would love Russia to qualify - but only if it means that they deserve to. Everything will be decided on the pitch - nowhere else."
Israel are already without captain and star player Yossi Benayoun.
"I got so many calls from Russia asking about Benayoun," Ubarov said.
"They are really scared of him so I guess it was good for them to see he will not be playing. It's a real shame he won't be playing."