Russia coach Dick Advocaat is demanding his side take all six points from their two upcoming Euro 2012 qualifiers.
The Russians have the advantage of facing Macedonia at home on Friday, and then hosting Ireland four days later.
A victory in both matches would put Russia atop Group B with two games left to play.
Only the group winners are guaranteed a place at next summer’s European championships, and it’s currently very tight at the top.
Russia has 13 points, along with Slovakia and Ireland, who lead on goal difference.
Zenit goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev will replace the injured Igor Akinfeev, who could be out for six months after suffering damage to his ACL in CSKA’s 2-2 draw at Spartak on Sunday.
Meanwhile, defender Sergey Ignashevich remains suspended.
Otherwise, Advocaat has a fully fit squad and has backed the form of his captain, Andrey Arshavin, who played in Arsenal’s 8-2 mauling at Manchester United on Sunday.