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Germany vs. Russia: Key Players to Watch in Women's World Cup Qualifying

HAVERFORDWEST, WALES - AUGUST 22:  Pauline Bremer  of Germany U19 women is congratulated by team mates after scoring her second goal during the European Women's Under19 Championship match between Germany and Sweden at the Bridge Meadow Stadium on August 22, 2013 in Haverfordwest, Wales.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Michael Steele/Getty Images
Christopher AtkinsContributor ISeptember 21, 2013

European champions Germany face Russia on Saturday afternoon with both teams looking to get their World Cup qualifying campaigns off to a good start at the Stadion der Freundschaft in Cottbus.

The hosts face tough opposition in a Russia side who were defeated just once in three games at the European Championship as they continue their steady progression.

Who, then, are the players to watch out for?

 

Dzsenifer Marozsan, Attacking Midfielder, Germany

VAXJO, SWEDEN - JULY 21:  Dzsenifer Marozsan of Germany runs with the ball during the UEFA Women's Euro 2013 quarter final match between Italy and Germany at Vaxjo Arena on July 21, 2013 in Vaxjo, Sweden.  (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)
Martin Rose/Getty Images

Germany have had some great attacking midfielders in recent years and, at just 21, Dzsenifer Marozsan appears as though she could eventually also reach those levels.

The Hungarian-born midfielder won the Golden Ball award for best player at the 2012 U20 World Cup, per Soccer America, and has already made a good start to her senior career, scoring the goal that took Germany into the European Championship final.

Just 5'7" tall, the diminutive playmaker has great balance and footwork with which she looks to unlock defences. Marozsan could be a real star in women's football in the coming years.

 

Celia Okoyino da Mbabi, Striker, Germany

German Footballer of the Year in 2012, Celia Okoyino da Mbabi already has 43 international goals at the age of 27 and is well on her way to writing her name into the country's footballing history.

Okoyino da Mbabi scored a remarkable 17 goals in just 10 matches to help Germany qualify for the European Championship this summer and, while she scored just twice at the tournament, she remains the side's main attacking threat.

KALMAR, SWEDEN - JULY 17:  Celia Okoyino Da Mbabi of Germany runs with the ball during the UEFA Women's Euro 2013 group B match between Germany and Norway at Kalmar Arena on July 17, 2013 in Kalmar, Sweden.  (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)
Martin Rose/Getty Images

A transfer to FFC Frankfurt this summer saw the forward move from her long-time club Bad Neuenahr and the hope will be that she can quickly pick up the form of the past couple of years.

 

Nelli Korovkina, Forward, Russia

Ismailovo forward Nelli Korovkina scored four times in six appearances during the European Championship campaign, including qualifying, to establish herself as one of the young stars of Russian football.

Now 24 years old, Korovkina's standout performance of the Euros came against England where she scored a header and also threatened to add a second with a wonderful curled shot that flew narrowly wide of the goal.

Technically gifted and quick across the ground, she can cause the German defence problems if given the opportunity.

 

Elena Terekhova, Centre Midfield, Russia

ROSTOV-NA-DONU, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 25:  Elena Terekhova of Russia in action during the UEFA Women's EURO 2013 play-off second leg match between Russia and Austria held on October 25, 2012 at the Olimp 2 Stadium in Rostov-na-Donu, Russia. (Photo by Natalia K
EuroFootball/Getty Images

Ryazan midfielder Elena Terekhova is a key member of the Russian side, occupying a box-to-box role in midfield. Her experience and composure will be important assets if her side are to get anything from this encounter.

With nearly 50 caps to her name, Russia will look to the 26-year-old in a match that is likely to see them come under intense pressure from the hosts.

Terekhova showed at the Euros that she is also a capable goalscorer by finding the back of the net in a 1-1 draw with Spain. But it will be her tidy passing and energy in midfield that will be key on this occasion.

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