Third-choice Rebrov steps in for Spartak
Spartak Moscow will be forced to start with third-choice goalkeeper Artem Rebrov for their Champions League clash with Benfica after Sergei Pesyakov pulled out of the match with a foot injury.
Pesyakov, who had been deputising for injured No. 1 Andriy Dykan and played in the 3-2 defeat by Barcelona last month, will miss the visit of Benfica after fracturing his foot during a 2-1 loss to Russian league leaders Anzhi Makhachkala on Saturday.
With Dykan and Pesyakov sidelined, Rebrov, 28, will be given the opportunity to make a rare start for Spartak - and his first appearance in European competition - in a game that Unai Emery's side desperately need to win to reignite their Champions League hopes after reverses against Barca and Celtic.
"It's not like Rebrov has been without any match practice this season as he has played for our reserve team," Emery told reporters on Monday.
Spartak may also have to welcome Benfica to the Luzhniki Stadium without the services of their leading scorer this season, Emmanuel Emenike, who is suffering from a sore back.
"We'll make a decision if he could play tomorrow after tonight's training," Emery said, having already come to terms with the absences of captain Sergei Parshivlyuk, Brazil midfielder Romulo, Ireland winger Aiden McGeady and forward Welliton.