The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and Dundee)

Denisov ruled out of opener

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Injury has forced Igor Denisov out of Euro 2016 and seen Russia call-up Artur Yusupov ahead of Saturday’s opener against England.

The 32-year-old midfielder was set to play a key role for Leonid Slutsky’s side in France, but sustained a thigh injury during Sunday’s 1-1 friendly draw against Serbia.

Denisov has now been replaced by Zenit midfielder Yusupov as teams are allowed to replace players before the tournament if the Uefa Medical Committee and team doctor confirm injury or illness would prevent a player taking part.

“I was planning to fly back to Moscow (on Monday),” replacemen­t Yusupov told UEFA.com.

“I didn’t even have my football boots with me and none of my kit. I had to borrow from Roman Neustadter.

“I was staying in Monaco, in the same hotel as the national side. It just happened like that.

“After being on holiday for 14 days, of course it is difficult to get down to work. I don’t really know myself what state I will be in.”

Denisov’s withdrawal is the latest injury blow for Russia having last month lost Alan Dzagoev to a broken metatarsal.

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