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Russia and Czech Republic renew EURO rivalry

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.

Background: Russia v Czech Republic ©Getty Images

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.

Head-to-head record
• 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

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.

Form guide
• 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.

Team ties
• 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.