RUSSIA defender Ilya Kutepov hinted his side will use dirty tricks in the style of Sergio Ramos to neutralise Mo Salah in their clash with Egypt at the World Cup.
The Liverpool forward is his country's biggest chance of advancing from Group A, and is already battling to be fit as he recovers from Ramos' bruising assault during last month's Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid in Kiev.
Ramos was widely criticised for his challenges on Salah, culminating in a challenge that saw the 44-goal man substituted after just 31 minutes.
But Zenit St Petersburg centre-back Kutepov suggested the Egyptian was unlikely to find any respite when he takes to the pitch against the host nation on June 19.
Kutepov said: "Salah's game doesn't worry me.
"How do you stop him? Well, you can do what Sergio Ramos did for example.
"He showed us one way of stopping him and I can't say that I was upset when I watched him get injured in the final.
"I wish him a quick recovery and I'll be happy if he plays at the World Cup because it helps you improve when you play against such a genius."
The game, to be played at Kutepov's home ground in Saint Petersburg, could be crucial in deciding the fate of Group A, with the winner likely to progress behind favourites Uruguay.
Egypt are unlikely to be cautious with Salah's fitness, desperate for him to play every minute possible, and he arrived with the team in Russia on Sunday.
The Pharoahs face Uruguay in their opening group game on Friday in Yekaterinburg, before their crunch clash with Russia four days later.
Saudi Arabia are Egypt's final opponents in Group A, on June 25 in Volgograd.
ALL SYSTEMS MO Mo Salah fit as he arrives in Russia after training with Egypt for first time since Sergio Ramos injured him in Champions League final
Salah is a national hero in his native land, having scored the winning penalty against Congo in October that sent Egypt back to the World Cup for the first time since 1990.
His influence is not restricted to the football field either, with a million Egyptians voting for Salah in March's presidential elections, despite the slight issue of him not actually standing as a candidate.
And the forward also endeared himself into the hearts of Liverpool fans after his £43million move from Roma last summer, with a record 32 goals in the Premier League and a further 10 in the Reds' run to the Champions League final.
A petition for Uefa and Fifa to ban Ramos, as well as a €1billion lawsuit from an Egyptian lawyer, were launched after the Real captain's antics during the final, where two goals from Gareth Bale gave Madrid their third consecutive European triumph.