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Serbia plays host to Russia this Sunday, in the fourth match of the European Nations B pre-qualifying tournament for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup. The Serbs, who come into the match on the back of a comprehensive 45-10 defeat at the hands of Georgia, must win if they are to stay in contention for one of the two available berths at the European qualifiers later this year.
They face an uphill battle however against a Russian Bears side brimming with confidence following their 40-14 disposal of the Netherlands in Hoek von Holland last month. The experienced Bears squad boasts no fewer than 13 players from the perennial Russian Rugby League champions, Locomotive Moscow, along with coach Evgeny Klebanov, and must be considered red hot favourites to defeat the relatively inexperiences Serbians.
A win to the Bears will guarantee their progression, along with the undefeated Georgians, consigning Serbia to World Cup elimination. A Serbian victory on the other hand, will mean that both sides remain in the hunt.
The match is to be played at FK Radnicki Stadium Belgrade on Sunday June 4, and kicks off at 5pm local time.
Squads are as follows: