Novogorsk: Russia striker Artem Dzyuba on Friday said that Spain is the favourite to win their upcoming clash in their round of 16 match at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but insisted he and his teammates must give the match their all and play the game of their lives against the Spanish powerhouse.
Dzyuba, who started two games in the group stage of the World Cup and scored two goals, denied that La Roja are more vulnerable after experiencing difficult matches against Iran and Morocco.
The 29-year-old Zenit St. Petersburg striker said Spain is a strong team with defenders from Real Madrid and Barcelona, adding that the round of 16 is no place for mistakes and that he expects his opponents to be more concentrated and aggressive than they were in the group phase, yet Dzyuba stressed that Russia will still look hard for Spain's weak points.
He dismissed notions that Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea, who he said was the best goalkeeper in the world alongside Germany's Manuel Neuer, will be nervous in the upcoming match following criticism he got for his performance against Portugal.
Dzyuba said his team should have patient unity during the game and not waste opportunities.