Russia vs Czech Republic – Match preview and team news

A potentially pulsating tie between two teams that harbour realistic hopes of qualifying beyond the group stage, Russia vs Czech Republic is the second game of Euro 2012 and Group A, and looks set to be an interesting one.

Russia go into the competition hoping to go one further on their impressing showing at Euro 2008 where they reached the semi-final stage, since then they have built a team with a new manager in Dutch mastermind Dick Advocaat who took over from Guus Hiddink in 2010.

Advocaat will want to put on an impressive performance after announcing his intention to quit after the championships. Advocaat is the envy of most national coaches in the tournament as he has a fully fit squad ahead of the tie, calling upon the likes of star player Alan Dzagoev is one to watch this year after the 21-year-old impressed in Russia’s qualifying campaign.

Czech Republic are on the up, the squad is very confident of making their mark on the Euro’s with a youthful squad though they possess strong experience with players like Petr Cech, Milan Baros and Tomas Rosicky who will all be key figures in any impressions the team make.

The Czech side has injury concerns in popular figure Milan Baros who is fighting a muscle injury that has forced him out of the team’s training this week, and the 2004 tournament top scorer will face a late fitness test in order to play against the Russians. Tomas Rosicky is also fighting an injury but hopes to be fit for the first game.

Most bookies have Russia as clear favourites to win this game and then go on to win the group, however expect a stern challenge from Czech Republic who won the competition once in 1976 though as recently as 1996 they finished as runners up.

Check out the Euro 2012 odds and get some tips on the European Championships betting.

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