Russia - Slovakia betting tips and match preview - Euro 2016 Group B
Russia meets Slovakia at Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille today in a crucial Group B encounter. This is the second match of the Euro 2016 for both the teams. Russia drew 1-1 against England, while Slovakia lost 2-0 against Wales. A win for Russia will take them to the next round. The first two teams of the six groups and four third-placed teams will go to the next round. That means even a draw will keep the hopes alive for these teams. And there are enticing odds ( 5/4 for Russia win, 23/10 for draw and 13/5 for Slovakia win with bet365) to keep the bettors’ hopes alive too.
Russia was lucky to get a last-gasp goal against England and get a point. Teams are usually lucky against England. They cannot expect such luck against Slovakia. If you watched the matches, you should have figured out that Slovakia in their defeat against Wales actually played more enterprisingly than did Russia in their draw against England.
Still, it could be a matter of tactics too. Russia chose to sit back deep and defend against England. They could well adopt a more aggressive strategy this time around. Striker Artyom Dzyuba will be a key man for them today. He has a couple of capable attacking alleys in Aleksandr Kokorin and Fyodor Smolov.
Russia will probably sit back again, but look for counter-attacks more often than they did against England. Russian coach Leonid Slutski is succinct in his analysis: “We need to play the way we did against England. I don't think it will be any harder but I know it won't be easier either.”
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Slovakia cannot afford the luxury of sitting back. They have to play more aggressively. A good thing for them is that the more creative players on the field will be on their side – unlike the case against Wales. Marek Hamsik and Juraj Kucka will be the best players on the field in terms of creativity. Ondrej Duda, who came on as a substitute against Wales and scored within minutes, can rattle the defenders.
The onus will clearly be on Hamsik to provide the attacking thrust. Slovakian defence fared poorly against Wales. There will be changes in the defence following Martin Skrtel’s red card.
Slovakia’s coach Ján Kozák is not demoralized by the earlier defeat: “The Wales defeat was unnecessary and when we reviewed it, we saw that the Welsh made more mistakes; we just couldn't take our chances.”
Russia - Slovakia match facts
- Slovakia has not lost back-back matches in almost three years.
- Russia won the previous two encounters with Slovakia, and leads the head to head record 3-2.
- The defeat against Wales snapped Slovakia’s seven-match unbeaten run.
- Russia has conceded eight goals in the last four matches, including the preparation games.
Russia - Slovakia betting tips