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Greece renew Russia rivalry

Greece and Russia will meet for the third successive tournament when they go into their final Group A fixture, with the Russians winning all their previous UEFA European Championship ties.

Background: Greece v Russia ©Getty Images

Russia have won all four UEFA European Championship meetings against Greece and will be seeking to continue that proud record as the teams meet for the third successive final tournament in Warsaw.

• Greece have taken just one point from their first two matches, opening with a 1-1 draw against co-hosts Poland before conceding twice in the first six minutes to set up a 2-1 loss against the Czech Republic. Russia also drew 1-1 with the Poles, but lead the section thanks to their 4-1 win against the Czechs on matchday one.

• That means Russia will be through with a draw, and could even afford a defeat by fewer than six goals if the other game finishes level. Greece will be through with a win, and out with a draw or loss.

Head-to-head record
• Russia were victorious against Greece in the group stage of both UEFA EURO 2004 and UEFA EURO 2008.

• Greece also lost twice in qualifying for EURO '96, going down 3-0 in Salonika on 26 April 1995 and 2-1 in Moscow on 11 October.

• Although they have won only one of ten previous fixtures between the sides, Greece are unbeaten in their two FIFA World Cup fixtures with Russia. In Athens on 17 November 1993, Nikos Machlas (68) earned the 1-0 win which meant both teams reached the finals for the first time. The earlier match, in Moscow on 23 May 1993, ended 1-1; Igor Dobrovolski (72, penalty) and Tasos Mitropoulos (45) were the scorers.

• All four friendlies have ended level, Igor Kolyvanov earning Russia a 1-1 draw in Athens on 18 February 1998 after Kostas Frantzeskos had given the home team an early lead.

• The next, in Heraklion, Crete, on 28 February 2001 ended 3-3; Angelos Charisteas marked his international debut with two first-half goals before Angelos Basinas ensured it was honours even with a 90th-minute penalty equaliser; Maksim Buznikin (2) and Dmitri Khokhlov were the Russian scorers.

• In Moscow on 15 August 2001, a third friendly ended goalless, while their most recent meeting in Piraeus last year was a 1-1 draw.

• Greece's record in 11 meetings with the Soviet Union was W2 D0 L9 F4 A 25.

Selected previous meetings
11 November 2011: Russia 1-1 Greece (Katsouranis 60; Shirokov 2) – Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium, Piraeus, friendly
Tzorvas, Torossidis, Holebas, A Papadopoulos, Papastathopoulos, Katsouranis (Makos 88), Fotakis (Liberopoulos 80), Karagounis (Tziolis 56), Salpingidis (Kone 68), Gekas (Mitroglou 77), Samaras (Charisteas 56).
Russia: Malafeev (Shunin 46), Anyukov, V Berezutski (A Berezutski 46), Ignashevich, Zhirkov (Shishkin 67), Zyryanov (Glushakov 79), Denisov, Shirokov (Bilyaletdinov 84), Dzyuba (Kokorin 46), Arshavin, Dzagoev.

• Kostas Katsouranis cancelled out Roman Shirokov's second-minute opener. Greece's José Holebas, born in Germany to a Greek father and Uruguayan mother, won his first cap.

14 June 2008: Greece 0-1 Russia (Zyryanov 33) – Stadion Salzburg, Salzburg, UEFA EURO 2008 group stage
Nikopolidis, Seitaridis (Karagounis 40), Dellas, Kyrgiakos, Torossidis, Patsatzoglou, Katsouranis, Basinas, Charisteas, Amanatidis (Giannakopoulos 80), Liberopoulos (Gekas 61).
Russia: Akinfeev, Anyukov, Ignashevich, Kolodin, Zhirkov (V Berezutski 87), Semak, Semshov, Zyryanov, Bilyaletdinov (Saenko 70), Torbinskiy, Pavlyuchenko.

• Konstantin Zyryanov scored the only goal in Salzburg as Russia ended Greece's defence of the trophy.

20 June 2004: Russia 2-1 Greece (Kirichenko 2, Bulykin 17; Vryzas 43) – Estádio do Algarve, Faro-Loule, UEFA EURO 2004 group stage
Malafeev, Anyukov, Sharonov (Sennikov 56), Bugaev, Evseev, Gusev, Alenitchev, Radimov, Karyaka (Semshov 46) Bulykin (Sychev 46), Kirichenko.
Greece: Nikopolidis, Seitaridis, Dellas, Kapsis, Venetidis (Fyssas 89), Basinas (Tsiartas 42), Katsouranis, Zagorakis, Vryzas, Papadopoulos (Nikolaidis 70), Charisteas.

• The defeat was the only one Otto Rehhagel's Greece suffered in six matches in Portugal en route to the title.

Form guide
• UEFA EURO 2004 represented Greece's first appearance in a European finals tournament since 1980. They have not missed a EURO since.

• 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.

Team ties
• Katsouranis was a team-mate of former Russian international Andrei Karyaka at SL Benfica in 2006/07. In 2007/08, Fanis Gekas and Dmitri Bulykin were together at Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

• Andrey Arshavin's Arsenal FC were 2-1 winners against the Olympiacos FC of Vassilis Torossidis and Holebas in the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League group stage in London.

• In the Piraeus return, won 3-1 by Olympiacos, Giannis Maniatis, Holebas, the injured Avraam Papadopoulos and Torossidis were in the home team, Arshavin again featuring for Arsenal.

• In the 2009/10 group stage, Arshavin scored Arsenal's second in their 2-0 home victory against an Olympiacos team featuring Papadopoulos, Torossidis and substitute Kostas Mitroglou.

• Denis Glushakov scored FC Lokomotiv Moskva's first goal in a 3-1 win at Grigoris Makos' AEK Athens FC in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League group stage.

• Sergei Ignashevich scored PFC CSKA Moskva's goal in a 1-1 draw at home to PAOK FC in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League round of 32 second leg, sealing a 2-1 aggregate win. Dimitris Salpingidis and Kostas Chalkias started for the Greek club.

• On 30 September 2010 Nikos Liberopoulos scored past Russia goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev although their AEK side still lost 4-2 at FC Zenit St Petersburg in the UEFA Europa League group stage.

• Makos and Liberopoulos started AEK's 3-0 loss to Zenit in Athens with Igor Denisov among the scorers.

• On 29 July 2009 Aleksandr Kokorin scored FC Dinamo Moskva's winner in their 1-0 victory at Celtic FC in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round first leg. Aleksandr Kerzhakov played the full 90 minutes, while Giorgos Samaras was a Celtic substitute on the hour.

• A week later Samaras came on to score the goal that gave Celtic a 2-0 away victory – their first away success in Europe for six years – with his first European goal for the club. Kerzhakov and substitute Kokorin represented Dinamo.

• On 5 December 2007, substitute Salpingidis scored both goals in Panathinaikos FC's 2-0 victory against Lokomotiv Moskva in the UEFA Cup group stage. Takis Fyssas – now Greece's technical director – started, with Sotiris Ninis and Giorgos Karagounis introduced as substitutes.

• Pavel Pogrebnyak scored for Zenit in their 2-2 draw against 1. FC Nürnberg in the UEFA Cup group stage on 29 November 2007.

• On 8 November 2007 Larissa FC went down 3-2 at home to Zenit, for whom Pogrebnyak and Zyryanov scored; Giorgos Fotakis got the home side's second.

• In the 2007/08 UEFA Cup quarter-finals Arshavin, Pogrebnyak, Aleksandr Anyukov and Denisov scored for Zenit in a 4-1 victory at Gekas's Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

• In the group stage of that season's competition, Roman Pavlyuchenko's penalty helped FC Spartak Moskva to a 2-1 home win against Leverkusen.

• On 3 September 2007 Kerzhakov was on the scoresheet in Sevilla FC's 4-1 victory at AEK Athens in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round second leg. Liberopoulos and Sokratis Papastathopoulos were among the AEK starters.

• On 21 October 2004 Arshavin, Kerzhakov (3) and Denisov were all on target as Zenit overwhelmed an AEK team coach by Fernando Santos 5-1 in St Petersburg in the UEFA Cup group stage. Katsouranis captained AEK while Liberopoulos was also in the starting lineup.

• Greece coach Santos was also on the AEK bench for the 2005/06 UEFA Cup first round between the teams when Arshavin scored the only goal of the tie in the 89th minute of the second leg in Athens. Liberopoulos and Katsouranis were again in AEK's starting lineup.

• Former Russia goalkeeper Sergei Ovchinnikov played under Santos at FC Porto in 2000/01. Santos also worked with Karyaka at Benfica in 2006/07.

• Former Russia defender Omari Tetradze played for PAOK from 1999 to 2002.

Competition format
• If two or more teams are equal on points on completion of the group matches, the following criteria are applied to determine the rankings:
a) Higher number of points obtained in the matches played between the teams in question;
b) Superior goal difference resulting from the matches played between the teams in question;
c) Higher number of goals scored in the matches played between the teams in question;
d) If, after having applied criteria a) to c), two teams still have an equal ranking, criteria a) to c) are reapplied exclusively to the matches between the two teams in question to determine the final rankings of the two teams. If this procedure does not lead to a decision, criteria e) to i) apply in the order given;
e) superior goal difference in all group matches;
f) higher number of goals scored in all group matches;
g) position in the UEFA national team coefficient ranking system (see annex I, paragraph 1.2.2);
h) fair play conduct of the teams (final tournament);
i) drawing of lots

• The Group A coefficients are as follows:
Russia 33.212
Greece 32.455
Czech Republic 29.602
Poland 23.806

• If two teams which have the same number of points, the same number of goals scored and conceded play their last group match against each other and are still equal at the end of that match, the ranking of the two teams in question is determined by kicks from the penalty mark provided no other teams within the group have the same number of points on completion of all group matches. Should more than two teams have the same number of points, the criteria listed under paragraph 8.07 apply.