Russia have struggled to live up to the heights of 2008’s run to the semi-finals but a plum draw in Group A has seen plenty of pundits back Dick Advocaat’s to be ‘dark horses’ yet again, this summer. The team lacks defence in central defence and comes into the competition after a long domestic season but should have enough fire power to see them through to at least the quarter-finals.
Here is our verdict –
- Unbeaten in 12 internationals, with six wins and six draws.
- Just four of their last 24 have provided three or more goals.
- Kept six clean sheets in their last seven competitive matches.
Newcastle United: Once a feared force and a dark horse for cup competitions the Russians will be hoping to once again be the most successful underdog in the championship.
Any Other Business
Keep an eye on Roman Shirokov. Often makes late runs to join the attack and could be considered better value to score than the highly-rated Alan Dzagoev. Aleksandr Kerzhakov should get the nod to lead the line – a decision which has seen his Top Goalscorer price plummet.
Russia’s superior quality should see them crush their Group A rivals. Poland and Greece will offer resistance but neither can match the Russians and Advocaat’s men should top the group. Russia to win Group A at 6/4 with Sportingbet.