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Euro 2020, Group B, Russia Preview: Full Squad, Key Players, Fixtures And Chances

Russia are in Group B for Euro 2020, along with Belgium, Denmark and Finland. Here's team preview

Euro 2020, Group B, Russia Preview: Full Squad, Key Players, Fixtures And Chances
Russia head coach Stanislav Cherchesov, center, attends a training session ahead of the upcoming Euro 2020 European Championship, at the Federal Sports Centre Novogorsk, outside Moscow, Russia, Thursday, June 3, 2021. AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin

"Your expectations are your problems," said infamously by former Arsenal forward Andrei Arshavin after Russia's group stage exit in the 2012 Euros. Four years later, the same thing happened. And this time too, expectations are high but reality tells something else. But Russian fans will have plenty to talk about as the 2018 World Cup quarter-finalists embark on a continental campaign. (More Football News)

There are so many talking points. Legendary Igor Akinfeev will be missed, but they will have Artem Dzyuba, the one whose x-rated scandal still continues to evoke shock and awe, and the absence of Anton Miranchuk, the twin brother of Aleksei. Then, there is Stanislav Cherchesov, the manager who still loves to deflect questions.

Despite all the negative press, Russia remain a confident side under Cherchesov. They have a rather rich pedigree in the European Championships, winning the inaugural tournament in 1960 (as USSR). They also finished runners-up three times, besides making the last four twice. Russia are not to be taken lightly, specially with their two group games playing at home.

GROUP AND FIXTURES

Russia are in Group B, along with favourites Belgium, dark horses Denmark and debutants Finland. Interestingly, Russia were the runners-up to Belgium in their qualifying Group I, with their only defeats coming against the Red Devils. And they meet again on June 12 in St. Petersburg. It will be followed by clashes against Finland at the same venue on June 16 and Denmark on June 21 in Copenhagen.

If Russia win the group, they face the third-placed side from either Group A or D or E or F in the round of 16 in Seville. If they finish second, they meet Group A runners-up (from Italy, Switzerland, Turkey and Wales) in Amsterdam.

WHO TO WATCH

Aleksandr Golovin is the star player. He was in a sublime form for AS Monaco, which fought for the French Ligue 1 title. If he can form a successful partnership with captain Dzyuba and Aleksei Miranchuk, Russia can test the best team in the tournament. The presence of Zenit St. Petersburg pair Yuri Zhirkov and Magomed Ozdoev, and Spartak Moscow's Roman Zobnin in the midfield will help calm an otherwise fraught defensive line.

SQUAD

Goalkeeper: Yuri Dyupin (Rubin Kazan), Matvei Safonov (FC Krasnodar), Anton Shunin (Dynamo Moscow);

Defenders: Igor Diveev (CSKA Moscow), Georgi Dzhikiya (Spartak Moscow), Mário Fernandes (CSKA Moscow), Vyacheslav Karavaev (Zenit St. Petersburg), Fedor Kudryashov (Antalyaspor), Andrey Semenov (Akhmat Grozny);

Midfielders: Dmitri Barinov (Lokomotiv Moscow), Denis Cheryshev (Valencia), Daniil Fomin (Dinamo Moscow), Aleksandr Golovin (AS Monaco), Daler Kuzyaev (Zenit St. Petersburg), Andrey Mostovoy (Zenit St. Petersburg), Maksim Mukhin (CSKA Moscow), Magomed Ozdoev (Zenit St. Petersburg), Rifat Zhemaletdinov (Lokomotiv Moscow), Yuri Zhirkov (Zenit St. Petersburg), Roman Zobnin (Spartak Moscow);

Forwards: Artem Dzyuba (Zenit St. Petersburg), Aleksey Ionov (FC Krasnodar), Denis Makarov (Rubin Kazan), Aleksei Miranchuk (Atalanta), Aleksandr Sobolev (Spartak Moscow), Anton Zabolotnyi (FC Sochi).

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