Euro 2016 England v Russia – The Russian View

While optimism continues to grow with regard to England’s chances at Euro 2016 here at home; ahead of the opening match against Russia tomorrow night, Our Kid and I thought it might be interesting to get the view from the other side, so here is a Russia supporter’s view of their chances; with thanks to Evgeny.

Of course we are not favourites for the coming Euros, but what we can do is, how we say, to catch fish in the muddy water.

Also, the fact that England (again!) has high expectations will help us much. If the English think we will be closed in the first match, how you say, park the bus, that’s a mistake. We just do not have buses in our park and we just can’t continually defend for a long time. So we have to go ahead, not lose initiative fully, be aggressive…however the question is if we can do this?

England will have to be prepared to fight for domination and should anticipate that the initiative will not come for free. We are interested in a slow speed match, if we impose boring football and give the impression that we are no danger to England – that’s the “muddy water” and we will feel confident. Hey, we are second oldest team but we do have experienced players.   But we’ve got a very big problem to execute such a plan, we lost two of our main central midfielders: Dzagoev (more attack than defence) and Denisov (defensive guy). That fact also makes us change a plan for a more attacking style, otherwise we can’t survive.

We played with 3 strikers in friendly matches and we have some players that are quite clever for this. Dzuba is a good striker, big guy and will fight for every ball. Shatov, Shirokov are creative guys and we should have moments to score. So our counterattacks will definitely be in place, you will meet problems from right defender Smolnikov.   

Also I think that Slovakia is underestimated. I will not be surprised if Slovakia go further from the group and England & Russia will fight for a second place.

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