England open Group B with Russia challenge
Friday, 1 January 2016
The last time England met Russia they suffered what proved a costly defeat – they will want no repeat when the teams open their UEFA EURO 2016 campaigns in Marseille.
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England have some unwelcome UEFA European Championship memories of Russia to overcome as they start their 2016 campaign in Marseille.
• Russia got the better of England in qualifying for UEFA EURO 2008, finishing second in the group behind Croatia, who won 3-2 at Wembley in their final qualifier to eliminate Steve McClaren's team.
• In the two direct confrontations, England won 3-0 at Wembley thanks to a couple of Michael Owen goals but lost 2-1 in Moscow. Substitute Roman Pavlyuchenko scored twice after England had led 1-0, through Wayne Rooney, at half-time.
• The teams in London on 12 September 2007 were:
England: Robinson, Richards, Ferdinand, Terry, A Cole, Wright-Phillips, Barry, Gerrard, J Cole (P Neville 88), Heskey (Crouch 80), Owen (Downing 90+1).
Russia: Malafeev, V Berezutski, Ignashevich, A Berezutski, Anyukov (Kerzhakov 80), Bilyaletdinov, Zhirkov, Semshov (Bystrov 40), Sychev (Pavyluchenko 63), Arshavin, Zyryanov.
• At the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on 17 October 2007, the lineups were:
Russia: Gabulov, A Berezutski, Ignashevich, V Berezutski (Torbinski 46), Anyukov, Zyryanov, Semshov, Bilyaletdinov, Zhirkov, Arshavin (Kolodin 89), Kerzhakov (Pavyluchenko 58).
England: Robinson, Richards, Ferdinand, Campbell, Lescott (Lampard 79), Wright-Phillips (Downing 80), Gerrard, Barry, J Cole (Crouch, 80), Rooney, Owen.
• The Soviet Union defeated England 3-1 in Frankfurt at EURO '88 to send Bobby Robson's side home with no points; Valeriy Lobanovskiy's victors went on to reach the final.
• Goals from Bobby Charlton (39) and Geoff Hurst (63) gave England victory against the Soviet Union in Rome in the 1968 UEFA European Championship third-place play-off – their best finish in the competition.
EURO facts – England
• England have not lost over 90 or 120 minutes in 22 EURO fixtures, going back to that 3-2 defeat by Croatia in November 2007 – since then, their record is W17 D5, although they were beaten on penalties by Italy in the UEFA EURO 2012 quarter-finals.
• Roy Hodgson's side won all ten of their UEFA EURO 2016 qualifiers – just the sixth team to achieve the feat, after France (1992, 2004), Czech Republic (2000) and Germany and Spain (both 2012).
• England failed to qualify for the final tournament in 2008 – due in no small part to that reverse against Russia in Moscow – but that is the only time they have missed out since 1984.
• England were semi-finalists as hosts in 1996, matching their previous best performance from 1968, when they came third.
EURO facts – Russia
• This is Russia's fourth successive EURO final tournament and fifth in six as an independent nation. They have featured in seven of the last eight EUROs, including this edition, appearing as the Soviet Union in 1988 and the Commonwealth of Independent States four years later, before their debut as Russia in 1996.
• The Soviet Union won the first UEFA European Championship in 1960, and finished as runners-up in 1964, 1972 and 1988. Russia's best performance since the dissolution of the Soviet Union came in 2008, when they reached the semi-finals.
Coach and player links
• Rooney scored Manchester United's 79th-minute winner against CSKA Moskva at Old Trafford in the UEFA Champions League group stage on 3 November 2015; Igor Akinfeev was the beaten goalkeeper, with Sergei Ignashevich and Aleksei Berezutski among the CSKA lineup.
• Vasili Berezutski was among the scorers as CSKA Moskva drew 3-3 at Old Trafford in the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League group stage.