The FINANCIAL - According to RIA Novosti, the draw for the qualifying rounds of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa were held in Durban on Sunday, with Russia being placed in a group with Germany, Wales, Finland, Azerbaijan and Liechtenstein.
Russia's Group Five sees the side, who qualified for Euro 2008 on November 21, face tough matches home and away against Germany, as well as a chance to renew their acquaintance with Wales.
Russia will have fond memories of their Euro 2004 play-off trip to Cardiff in November 2003 when they earned a place at the tournament's final stages with a 1-0 victory following a goalless draw in Moscow.
The first placed team in each group earns an automatic place at the 2010 World Cup, while the best eight second-placed teams will play off against each other. There are nine groups in total in the European zone.
Russia's Dutch trainer, Guus Hiddink, refused to comment on Sunday's draw. His contract is set to run until after the 2010 World Cup. Africa will host the tournament for the first time.
Other groups saw currently-managerless England again placed with Croatia, the side that dumped them out of Euro 2008 on Wednesday, while South and North Korea are set to face each other in a potentially explosive derby in the competition's Asian qualifying zone.
The European zone qualifying fixtures kick off in September 2008.