Our match prediction:
Having survived England in the opening match of their Euro 2016 campaign, Russia will be looking to move one step closer to booking their place in the last 16 with a win over Slovakia at Stade Pierre-Mauroy. Leonid Slutsky’s troops failed to impress against England, but they are certainly capable of beating the Slovaks, who suffered a 2-1 loss to Wales at the star of their Euro 2016 campaign. Jan Kozak’s men have no other choice but to go all guns blazing at Russia and we predict that both teams will find the net in Wednesday’s football match at Stade Pierre-Mauroy. Marek Hamsik missed a clear-cut opportunity to score in the 2-1 loss to Wales, but, no doubt, he will be the man to watch in Jan Kozak’s team. On the other hand, Zenit attacker Artem Dzyuba is likely to prove a handful for the opposition back line.
Highligted Player (Cherychev):
Probably the most famous Russian footballer never to have played for a domestic club, Denis Cheryshev was born in Nizhny Novgorod, but began his career at Sporting Gijon as his father played for the Spanish side at the time. The talented winger eventually caught the eye of Real Madrid and went on to spend eight years in the youth academy at Santiago Bernabeu before he was given a chance to impress on senior level. Due to a fierce competition for places in Madrid, Cheryshev was forced to gain much needed first team experience via loan spells at Sevilla, Villarreal and Valencia, and he showed a great deal of potential during those stints, proving los Blancos were wrong to let him leave. Chersyhev has been in and out of the Russia national team since making his debut in 2012, but there is a good chance he will become an important member of Sbornaya Komanda as soon as he secures regular playing time at club level. The Russian footballer is capable of operating on either wing or through the middle, and he has proved to be quite prolific in terms of both goals and assists.
Highlighted Team (Slovakia):
Slovakia only appeared on the international stage in 1993 as Czechoslovakia fell apart, and the new national team have yet to record a result worth mention. Repre have only qualified for two major tournaments so far, the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2016, but the current generation definitely seem capable of improving the team’s profile in years to come. Slovakia currently have quite a few players plying their trade in some of Europe’s top sides, with Marek Hamsik, Martin Skrtel and Juraj Kucka clearly the leaders of the national team at the moment, but they do struggle in some areas and are not exactly world beaters just yet. Under Vladimir Weiss and Jan Kozak, Slovakia have become a tough not to crack, relying on rock-solid back line and swift counter-attacks, and they even gave Spain a tough time during the Euro 2016 qualifiers. Miroslav Karhan and Robert Vittek are the most capped player and top goalscorer respectively, with Robert Vittek another player worth the mention.