Russia's game at home to Israel on Tuesday promises to be one of the most tense matches on the agenda. After Fabio Capello's Russia netted four goals en route to a comfortable three points against Luxembourg on Friday, they're three points ahead of their Israeli opponents in second place and would move above table-toppers Portugal with a victory.
However, a defeat to an Israel team who have looked impressive in qualification -- and who have lost only one of their seven games -- would see the two sides level on points and tied in the second-place playoff spot. That means there's everything to play for, with Israel hoping to bounce back from their costly draw to Azerbaijan in their last qualifier.
Eli Guttman's team boast one of the most prolific scorers in qualification so far, though Tomer Hemed -- whose six goals put him second only to Bosnia-Herzegovina's Edin Džeko in the European qualification scoring charts -- hasn't been called up to the squad, with captain Yossi Benayoun also left at home. There was also a surprise omission from the Russian team, with domestic top scorer Artyom Dzyuba omitted by Capello.
Match Date/Time: Tuesday, 7 p.m. local, 11 a.m. ET
Venue: Petrovsky Stadium, St Petersburg, Russia
TV: ESPN Deportes (U.S. - Spanish)
Online: ESPN3 (U.S.)