Wroclaw – Russia has a long history in European Championship. Of the former Soviet Union (has been recognized by FIFA) was even a winner of the first edition of the Euro (1960). While the Czech Republic, since its establishment as an independent state in 1992, always reaching final round or this year will undergo the fifth edition in a row.
However, Wroclaw Municipal Stadium clash in an early day (RCTI live broadcast at 1:45 pm WIB kickoff) is the second meeting for both teams. The first meeting occurred in the group phase of Euro 1996. At that time, the game ended at 3-3. However, Russia and the Czech Republic said they are completely blind of the opponent power this time.
” We have the footage of the game played by Czech. But we can not be relied completely because we did not deal directly with them,” said Russian coach Dick Advocaat told the Times of Malta.
Czech coach Michal Bilek has the same opinion with Advocaat. For the record, Euro 2012 will be the first Bilek major event. However, Bilek asked his troops to be wary of Red Bear – Russian national team nickname – which will be an early day rampage. ” The first game against Russia, perhaps, would be the hardest. Moreover, Russia is a favorite in our group and we really respect them,” he said in the official UEFA website.
Even has minimal reference to the opponent, the two teams are equally optimistic that will carve three points. ” Always important to start something well,” said the Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech from Chelsea told Sky Sports.
” Four years ago we started the tournament with a defeat. We certainly do not expect to repeat the bad memory,” said Yuri Zhirkov, the Russian left-back, Cech former colleague in Chelsea, told FourFourTwo.
Meanwhile, Russia may not be able to play the main goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev. He’s still recovering knee injury. Indeed, Akinfeev was performed for 45 minutes, when the Russians massacred Italy 3-0 in test matches last week. However, Advocaat think that it is quite risky to play Akinfeev.