Euro 2016: England vs Russia preview

England kick off their Euro 2016 campaign on Saturday evening when they face Russia in Group B. The two teams have met just twice before, during the qualification campaign for Euro 2008. England won 3-0 at Wembley but were defeated 2-1 in Russia. England finished fourth in the qualifying group at the time, missing out on the final tournament, while Russia qualified after finishing second behind Croatia.

Ryan Bertrand and Chris Smalling are injury doubts for England boss Roy Hodgson ahead of Saturday's game. Last week England secured a 1-0 friendly win against Portugal, their third consecutive victory after the 2-1 friendly defeat against the Netherlands. England have also beaten Germany and France in friendly matches after the end of the qualifying campaign, so confidence should be pretty high among Hodgson's men. Moreover, England finished the qualifying campaign with maximum points after having won all ten matches with just three goals conceded.

Confidence is not that great in the Russian camp though as disappointing results were followed by an injury to Igor Denisov, who had to be pulled out from the squad. Russia won just two of their six post-qualification friendlies, 1-0 against Portugal and 3-0 against Lithuania. They lost two of the last three matches, against France and the Czech Republic, while the last warm-up friendly resulted in a 1-1 draw against Serbia. However, Russia did win their last four Euro 2016 qualification matches, scoring at least two goals in each of the last three.

Probable line-ups:

England: Hart - Walker, Cahill, Smalling, Rose - Alli, Dier, Wilshere - Sterling - Kane, Rooney

Russia: Akinfeev - Smolnikov, Ignasevich, Berezutski, Kombarov - Ivanov, Glushakov - Kokorin, Golovin, Shatov - Dzyuba

My prediction: England to win 1-0.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

England win - 1.91
Draw - 3.40
Russia win - 4.75

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Members Comments

  • United Kingdom kokanidja201


    I exprect very tough game tomorow. Both sides are strong, and well prepared. I give more chances to England than Russia. England arrives at Euro 2016 as a treat to reach the final four for first time since 1996, opening with a match against Russia. Russia is not in best shape, so i think they are not in favorites to win Euro 2016.

  • Serbia nik92


    Unfortunately, we have seen a bad scene as an introduction to this match last night in Marseille.
    England has a very quality team, perhaps the best attacking duo Vardy and Kane. Wayne Rooney before Vardy? I don't think so.
    I watched the match Russia Serbia ( 1-1), Serbia showed much better play, maybe the Russians didn't play with 100%.
    My opinion for this match:
    1 & over 1.5 goals @2.65

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina Cobra69


    The most interesting game of Day 2, I expect great game. England is favourite, that's sure. They have amazing players, all in great form so everything except victory would be dissapointment. Russia is without two great players - Dzagoev, and Denisov, they are much weaker without them. They don't have big names in team like England, I think that they don't have any chance in this match. Go England :)

  • Serbia Milaneli


    England is for sure favorites in this one. They played great qualifications and friendly matches, some nice run and should come on top tonight. But, we all do know and we are all used on England disappointing once final tournament starts. Previous generation used to choke, but this one is young, and maybe not pressured by a media inthere that much like they used to do on Gerrard, Lampard and buddies. Russia didnt preform well in their last friendly versus Serbia, but they might surprise us all and take a point of the England squad.

  • Slovenia mannixx


    England: Hart, Walker, Smalling, Cahill, Rose, Rooney (c), Alli, Dier, Sterling, Kane, Lallana.

    Russia starting XI: Akinfeev, Smolnikov, V Berezutsky, Ignashevich, Schennikov, Neustadter, Golovin, Kokorin, Shatov, Smolov, Dzyuba.

    To bad for Dzagoev and Denisov injuries, dont know why pavel Mamayev isn not in first 11 he scored 9 goals and 13 assists this season.

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