Our match prediction:
England will be looking to extend their winning run to four games when they take on Russia at the start of their Euro 2016 campaign. The Three Lions are likely to rely on their attack at the European Championship finals as both Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane impressed in the 2015/2016 Premier League campaign. Roy Hodgson’s troops are on a three-game winning run at the moment and they will be looking to build on a 1-0 win over Ronaldo-less Portugal when they take on Russia in Saturday’s football match. The Russians head into the match with a severely-weakened squad and we predict that England will pick up all three points from the match. You should bear in mind that Russia conceded seven goals in previous three warm-up games. It has been nine years since Russia and England last met in a competitive match. Back then Russia recorded a 2-1 win over England.
Highligted Player (Vardy):
Spending his early career playing no-league football, Jamie Vardy made the headlines when he joined Leicester City in a £1 million deal in 2012, but little did he know that he would go on to become a genuine Premier League star just three years later. The experienced forward helped the Foxes gain promotion to the elite division and then score more than 20 goals as they mounted an unlikely title bid, earning worldwide acclaim as well as a place in the England squad. Vardy went on to score his first two goals for the Three Lions in March 2016 friendlies, with his back-heel goal against Germany in Berlin seeing him instantly become a fans’ favourite. Over the years, Vardy has earned a reputation as a striker who never gives up and can be a real menace for opposition defenders, but his excellent goalscoring record and good link-up play are enough to suggest he can be described as a mix of old-style pacey forwards and modern strikers.
Highlighted Team (Russia):
While they won the 1960 European Championship, while losing in the final in 1964, 1972 and 1988 as Soviet Union, Russia have enjoyed little success since starting to compete as an independent country in 1992. Their best result up to date is the third-placed finish at the Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland, while the team failed to get past the group stage at the World Cup finals in three attempts. However, with Russian Premier League getting stronger by the day, the national team have started to improve as well, and they now finally seem capable of matching the world’s top sides. The new generation includes high-quality footballers such as Alan Dzagoev, Aleksandr Kokorin, Artyom Dzyuba and Oleg Shatov, while the likes of Igor Akinfeev, Sergei Ignashevich, Roman Shirokov and Yuri Zhirkov are nearing the closing stages of their careers. But, with plenty of exciting talent coming through the ranks, future definitely looks bright for the Russia national team.