England v Russia

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    England trio Chris Smalling, Gary Cahill and Ryan Bertrand have all received treatment for minor injuries this week but are set to be available.

    Danny Welbeck, who has appeared at the last two major tournaments for England, heads the list of injured absentees.

    Russia are without Alan Dzagoev and Igor Denisov, both of whom suffered tournament-ending injuries after their initial 23-man squad was named.

    Ex-Chelsea man Yuri Zhirkov is also absent due to an Achilles injury.


    Another major tournament equals fresh hope for England that they will finally end what is now 50 years of hurt.

    Roy Hodgson’s young lions have impressed since their 2014 World Cup debacle. They were the only country to qualify for Euro 2016 with a 100% winning record, they memorably beat world champions Germany in March and have scored goals for fun.

    England drew 1-1 with France in their opening game of Euro 2012<!–

    Hodgson has claimed the class of 2016 are a work in progress, an argument borne out in the stats. At 25.3 years they have the youngest average squad age, whilst only Romania have won fewer caps than England (22.2 on average). Regardless of their inexperience, England are fourth favourites to win the tournament.

    Euro 2016 is a dress rehearsal for the Russians, who host the World Cup in two years’ time. It’s a chance for them to see how they compare against Europe’s elite and build foundations for a brighter future. Like England, Russia exited the 2014 World Cup in disappointing style in the group stage.



    • England have played Russia twice since the breakup of the Soviet Union, with both encounters in Euro 2008 qualifying. England won 3-0 at Wembley and Russia were 2-1 victors in Moscow.
    • The Three Lions met the USSR twice at the European Championship finals. England won 2-0 in a third-place play-off in 1968, while the Soviets triumphed 3-1 in the group stage in 1988.


    • England were the only country to win all of their Euro 2016 qualifying matches.
    • They are taking part in their ninth European Championship finals. They didn’t qualify the last time the tournament was held in France in 1984.
    • Excluding penalty shoot-outs, England are unbeaten in 22 European Championship games – since a 3-2 qualifying defeat by Croatia in November 2007.
    • Four of England’s last six goals at the Euros were scored from set-pieces; three from a corner, one from an indirect free-kick.
    • Wayne Rooney top scored for England with seven goals in qualifying. Five of them were set-pieces; four penalties and one direct free-kick.
    • At 68, Roy Hodgson is the oldest manager or head coach at Euro 2016.


    • The Soviet Union won the inaugural European Championship in 1960, beating Yugoslavia 2-1 in extra-time, and were runners-up in 1964, 1972 and 1988.
    • Russia have qualified for 11 European Championship finals (including as the USSR). Only Germany, with 12, have a higher figure
    • Russia have only kept two clean sheets in their last 15 games at European Championship finals.
    • Artem Dzyuba was involved in 50% of Russia’s 18 qualifying goals, scoring eight and assisting one.
    • This is Leonid Slutsky’s first major tournament as an international coach.
    • At 45, Slutsky is the youngest manager or head coach at Euro 2016.

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