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Russia and the Czech Republic met for the only time at EURO '96, and both will be eager to make a positive start in UEFA EURO 2012 Group A when they face off again in Wroclaw.
• The sole encounter between Russia and the Czech Republic came at the finals in England 16 years ago. In the final Group C fixture in Liverpool on 19 June, the Czechs needed a point to advance at the expense of Italy and Russia – and achieved their aim with a 3-3 draw.
• It was the first appearance at the UEFA European Championship final tournament for both sides as Russia and the Czech Republic.
• The USSR and Czechoslovakia met in the first semi-final of what was then called the European Nations' Cup in 1960. The Soviet team were 3-0 winners in Marseille with Valentin Ivanov scoring twice and Viktor Ponedelnik once.
• That was the only final tournament fixture between the teams; of 12 official meetings the Soviet Union won six and Czechoslovakia two with four draws. The sides also played in the 1976 quarter-finals, when the finals was a four-team tournament, the Czechoslovakians securing a 2-0 first-leg lead in Bratislava and holding on for a 2-2 draw in the Kyiv return en route to lifting the title.
Selected previous meeting
19 June 1996: Russia 3-3 Czech Republic (Mostovoi 49, Tetradze 54, Beschastnykh 85; Suchopárek 5, Kuka 19, Šmicer 88) – Anfield, Liverpool, EURO '96 group stage
Russia: Cherchesov, Nikiforov, Tetradze, Gorloukovitch, Yanovski, Karpin, Radimov, Khokhlov, Tsymbalar (Shalimov 67), Simutenkov (Mostovoi 46), Kolyvanov (Beschastnykh 46).
Czech Republic: Kouba, Horňák, Kubík, Suchopárek, Látal, Bejbl, Nedvěd, Berger (Němeček 90), Němec, Poborský, Kuka (Šmicer 69).
• Replacement Vladimír Šmicer came to the rescue, taking Dušan Uhrin's side through as section runners-up thanks to a superior head-to-head record against Italy and leaving Oleg Romantsev's Russia at the foot of the group with one point. The Czechs went on to lose to Germany in the final.
• Russia are unbeaten in eight competitive games – six wins and two draws – since a 1-0 home defeat by Slovakia in their second UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier. They scored eight goals without conceding in their final four qualifiers.
• Russia reached the semi-finals of UEFA EURO 2008, losing 3-0 to eventual winners Spain – who had also beaten them 4-1 in the group stage.
• Russia have missed just one EURO since the break-up of the former Soviet Union, UEFA EURO 2000, though they had not progressed beyond the group stage before UEFA EURO 2008.
• The Czech Republic have played at every EURO since Czechoslovakia split in 1993, reaching the final at EURO '96 and the semi-finals at UEFA EURO 2004.
• The Czechs have won their last three competitive games since losing 2-0 at home to European champions Spain in qualifying.
• Russia coach Dick Advocaat recorded a home draw (1-1) and away defeat (1-3) against the Czech Republic during UEFA EURO 2004 qualifying while in charge of the Netherlands. The Czechs were also 3-2 winners against his Dutch side at the finals in Portugal.
• Czech goalkeeper Petr Čech had former Russia captain Aleksei Smertin (2004-06) and Yuri Zhirkhov (2009-11) as team-mates at Chelsea FC.
• Czech Republic captain Tomáš Rosický is a team-mate of Andrey Arshavin at Arsenal FC.
• Czech defender Roman Hubník made nine league appearances for Russian club FC Moskva between 2007 and 2008.
• Since moving to Russia in January 2009, Tomáš Necid has been a team-mate of Igor Akinfeev, Sergei Ignashevich, Aleksei Berezutski, Kirill Nababkin and Alan Dzagoev at PFC CSKA Moskva.
• Necid scored the Czechs' 90th-minute equaliser against Russia in the 2006 UEFA European Under-17 Championship final in Luxembourg, making the score 2-2 – only for the Russians to win the penalty shoot-out 5-3. Tomáš Pekhart was Necid's attacking partner in the Czech team.
• The coach of the winning Russian team was Igor Kolyvanov – one of the starters against the Czechs at EURO '96 – although none of the victorious Russian squad featured in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying.
• Former Czech midfielder Jiří Jarošík was at CSKA Moskva between 2003 and 2005. He also played for PFC Krylya Sovetov Samara from 2008 to 2010.
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