Russian ice hockey players prepared for the IIHF World Championship semi-final against Finland at a training session in Bratislava on Friday. The Russian team reached the last four after beating the USA 4-3 in the quarter-final game on Thursday.

Russia head coach Ilya Vorobyov praised the Finnish team which knocked out the reigning champions Sweden with an overtime win. "You should have a look at the teams that Finland has already beaten in this tournament. They've spent quite a long time training and now they are like a well tuned machine. That's why they beat the USA, Canada and indeed Sweden," said Vorobyov.

Ilya Kovalchuk, the Russia captain, said he expects a tough game on Saturday. "We've had really hard times with the Finns. They are a tough, uncomfortable opponent for us, but we need to break their game tomorrow leaving the past behind."

The other finalist will be decided in the Canada-Czech Republic game also on Saturday.

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