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Russia head into UEFA EURO 2012 this summer with great memories of their previous appearance in the competition. Indeed, their run to the semi-finals four years ago stole plenty of headlines – and many of the faces that featured as they went out to eventual winners Spain will be present again in Poland and Ukraine.
Andrey Arshavin missed the opening two games through suspension but made up for lost time after that, especially with the winner in the epic quarter-final against the Netherlands. The team remains familiar and in answer to criticisms of stagnation, Arshavin said: "There are advantages, though, because we understand each other well, we know each other, we are used to each other."
By contrast, Pavel Pogrebnyak was not involved in 2008 due to an injury after a season in which he led the UEFA Cup scoring charts for eventual winners FC Zenit St Petersburg. Now at Fulham FC, he plays down suggestions that Group A, also including the Czech Republic, co-hosts Poland and Greece, is a gift. "Everybody's reaction was that Russia had got the easiest group," he said. "Naturally we don't think so, because I believe we have the most equal group."
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