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The Latest: Home and away, Cheryshev ready to take on Spain

The Latest: Home and away, Cheryshev ready to take on Spain
The Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Saturday at the World Cup (all times local):

3:30 p.m.

Russia winger Denis Cheryshev says he feels calm as he prepares to play for the country of his birth against the country where he grew up.

Cheryshev was born in Russia but spent almost all his life in Spain after his father Dmitry, also a professional footballer, played and coached at a succession of Spanish clubs.

Speaking Russian with a slight Spanish accent, Cheryshev says “we are very relaxed and ready to do a good job.”

He sees Russia as the clear underdog for Sunday’s game in Moscow, adding that Spain is “close to being the best, but any team can hurt another.”

Russia and Spain played out a 3-3 draw in a friendly in November but coach Stanislav Cherchesov says Spain’s tactics have changed since then, particularly since Spain fired coach Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the World Cup and appointed Fernando Hierro.

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3 p.m.

Switzerland forward Breel Embolo is back in Russia after returning home to attend the birth of his first child.

The Swiss football federation says Embolo spent “the most beautiful 24 hours of his life” getting home in time to see his daughter, Naylia, born.

Embolo says “the timing was perfect” to be with his partner Naomi.

The 21-year-old forward played the full 90 minutes Wednesday evening in Nizhny Novgorod, where Switzerland drew 2-2 with Costa Rica.

Switzerland next plays Tuesday, against Sweden in the round of 16.

England midfielder Fabian Delph has also returned home between the group stage and first knockout round to attend a birth. England plays Colombia in Moscow on Monday.

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1:35 p.m.

Mexican players are insisting they’re relaxed ahead of their clash with Brazil in the round of 16 in the World Cup — now they seem to be proving it.

Ahead of Monday’s win-or-go-home game against the Brazilians in Samara, several members of Mexico’s team and even coach Juan Carlos Osorio took some time off to go sightseeing at Red Square.

Captain Andres Guardado along with his wife and son Maximo, defenders Jesus Gallardo and Edson Alvarez, midfielder Javier Aquino, striker Raul Jimenez and Osorio spent several hours Friday in downtown Moscow.

It’s Mexico’s seventh straight chance to qualify for the quarterfinals for the first time since hosting the World Cup in 1970 and 1986.

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12:51 p.m.

John Stones is back in training with England, two days after coming off at halftime of the 1-0 loss to Belgium at the World Cup because of a calf problem.

The center back was among the 21 players practicing in light rain Saturday at England’s training base just outside St. Petersburg.

Stones was pictured on the England bench with heavy strapping and ice around his left calf during the second half of the game against Belgium on Thursday.

The only absentees from training were Fabian Delph, who was back in England to be with his wife ahead of the birth of their third child, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who had a conditioning session back at the team hotel.

England plays Colombia in the last 16 on Tuesday.

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