Thursday's draw also pits Russia's No. 2 Mikhail Youzhny against Leonardo Mayer.
In Saturday's doubles, the Russian pair of Teimuraz Gabashvili and Igor Kunitsyn will face Nalbandian and Horacio Zeballos. The reverse singles are scheduled for Sunday.
Russia has not lost at home since the 1995 final, when Pete Sampras won all three of his matches to lead the United States to victory.Since then, the Russians have won 17 Moscow matches straight.
Argentina has reached the final three times but has yet to win a title.
The winner will play Spain or France in the semifinals Sept. 17-19.