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Russia first for France

France were the best European performers at the 2012 Olympics and the Group C top seeds begin their much-anticipated campaign against regular qualifiers Russia.

Élodie Thomis (left) and Eugénie Le Sommer have faced Russia at senior and youth level
Élodie Thomis (left) and Eugénie Le Sommer have faced Russia at senior and youth level ©Sportsfile

France were the best European performers at the 2012 Olympics and the Group C top seeds begin their much-anticipated campaign against Russia. If Sandrine Soubeyrand plays, she will become the oldest ever person to take part in a UEFA Women's EURO finals aged 39 years 330 days (21 days more than Olena Mazurenko for Ukraine v Finland in 2009).

Head-to-head record
• The Soviet Union/Commonwealth of Independent States met France four times. In 1990 France won 7-1 in Varna then lost 2-1 and drew 0-0 at home; two years later it was France 1-0 CIS in another friendly.

• Since Russia became an independent nation, they have met France eight times. Les Bleues have won five and Russia two with one draw.

• In the first two meetings, France won home friendlies 5-0 and 2-1 in 1993.

• They next met in 1997 UEFA Women's European Championship qualifying, Russia drawing 0-0 at home and winning 1-0 away. That took Russia through automatically, France joining them via the play-offs.

• Drawn together in the finals, they met in Karlstad, Sweden and a France team including Sandrine Soubeyrand won 3-1 with an Angélique Roujas hat-trick to end Russia's hopes. Les Bleues, however, then lost 3-0 to the hosts and themselves exited behind Spain on goal difference.

• The next meetings were in 2005 qualifying and both were away wins, Les Bleues prevailing 3-0 in Selyatino and Russia 5-2 in Dijon. By the time of the second game France had already won the group; Russia lost to Finland in the play-offs.

• France's Céline Deville, Laura Georges, Soubeyrand and Élise Bussaglia were all involved in those games.

Selected previous meeting
11 July 2012: France 3-0 Russia (Thiney 11, Delie 22 41) - Pierre-Brisson, Beauvais, Friendly
Bouhaddi, Franco (Viguier 63), Georges (Gadea 76), Renard, Bompastor (Boulleau 46), Abily, Bussaglia (Meilleroux 46), Le Sommer (Makanza 63), Necib (Catala 46), Thiney (Thomis 46), Delie.
Russia: Todua, Kozhnikova, Dyachkova, Sheikina (Danilova 46), Cholovyaga, Kostukova, Medved (Utitckih 88), Tsybutovich, Pertseva, Rodionova (Makarenko 69), Fomina.

• France continued to warm up for the Olympics (where they ended fourth) with a comfortable win. It was Russia's first game under caretaker Vladimir Antonov following the departure of Frenchman Farid Benstiti to become Paris Saint-Germain FC coach.

• In his long spell as a France youth coach, Bruno Bini met Russia several times. In the two-legged 1998 UEFA European Women's Under-18 Championship quarter-finals, France beat Russia 2-0 at home and 1-0 away.

• Two years later in the third qualifying round, France beat a Russia team containing Olesya Kurochkina 3-0 in Lyon.

• In the 2004 group stage in Finland, holders France needed a last-gasp Gwenaëlle Pele goal to cancel out Elena Terekhova's opener but still went out behind Russia in a group where all four teams ended with four points.

• Bini's side included Bouhaddi, Laure Boulleau, Gaëtane Thiney, Élodie Thomis, Bussaglia and Louisa Necib. Alongside Terekhova were Elena Todua, Anastasia Kostyukova, Ekaterina Sochneva, Olga Petrova, Elena Morozova and Ksenia Tsybutovich.

• Following Bini's departure, France and Russia met twice in the 2005 finals in Hungary. France won the group encounter 4-0, Necib and Thomis among the scorers.

• However in the final, Russia took the trophy 6-5 on penalties after a 2-2 draw, Terekhova twice giving Russia the lead in the second half, Thomis cancelling out the first goal. Todua saved the decisive penalty from Boulleau.

• Involved in both games for France were Bouhaddi, Boulleau, Thomis, Necib and Marie-Laure Delie. Russia's champions included Todua, Terekohova, Petrova, Morozova and Tsybutovich.

• A year later they met in the group stage in Switzerland and France won 4-1, Delie scoring two and Necib one. The Russia side featured Terekhova, Morozova and Tsybutovich.

Form guide
• France had the only perfect record in qualifying, winning their eight games with 32 goals scored and two conceded. Eleven different players scored.

• They are on a run of 23 straight qualifying group victories going back to a June 2007 loss in Iceland.

• France were the best European performers at the 2012 Olympic tournament, finishing fourth after beating Sweden 2-1 in the quarter-finals but then losing 2-1 to Japan in the semis and 1-0 to Canada for bronze.

• Before losing their Olympic opener 4-2 to the United States they had won 17 games in a row.

• They reached the FIFA Women's World Cup semi-finals for the first time in 2011, losing to the United States and then being beaten by Sweden for third place.

• When they made the UEFA Women's EURO 2009 quarter-finals it was the first time France had progressed from any senior group stage.

• Russia were forced into a play-off for the third Women's EURO qualifying running after two group losses to Italy. As in 2009 they came through, beating Austria 2-0 away and drawing 1-1 at home.

• While Russia have gone out in the EURO group stage at all three attempts (1997, 2001 and 2009), in their two World Cup appearances (1999 and 2003) they made it to the quarter-finals.

Team ties
• Up to 2010/11 there had been no Franco-Russian encounters in the UEFA Women's Champions League/UEFA Women's Cup but since then Olympique Lyonnais have seen off three teams from Russia.

• In the 2010/11 round of 16 Lyon beat 2009 runners-up Zvezda-2005 1-0 on aggregate thanks to a second-leg home win. Bouhaddi, Wendie Renard, Georges, Necib, Thomis, Camille Abily and Eugénie Le Sommer all played for Lyon while Zvezda included Olesya Kurochkina and Ksenia Tsybutovich.

• In the quarter-finals, eventual winners Lyon saw off Russia's other representatives FC Rossiyanka 6-1 away, Abily and Necib scoring, and 5-0 at home when Le Sommer struck twice. Rossiyanka also included Todua, Petrova and Morozova.

• In the 2012/13 round of 16, Lyon overcame FK Zorkiy Krasnogorsk 9-0 in Moscow, when Necib's hat-trick was added to by Abily, and 2-0 at the Stade de Gerland. Lyon's team included Bouhaddi (first leg), Céline Deville (second leg), Le Sommer, Thomis, Bussaglia, Corine Franco, Abily, Necib and Georges. Zorkiy's squad featured Elena Medved, Morozova and Ekaterina Sochneva.