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Preview: Russia v Wales

Russia have misfired so far but it is do-or-die time now, with only a win enough to see them through. Dark horses Wales, though, will be taken lightly at their peril. Just ask Slovakia.

Preview: Russia v Wales
Preview: Russia v Wales ©Getty Images
  • Group B's bottom side Russia take on second-placed Wales in a must-win game
  • Wales will qualify with a victory while a point could do; Russia must win to have any chance
  • Wales manager Chris Coleman: "This team is in the middle of a journey"
  • Russia beat Wales in UEFA EURO 2004 play-offs and also won twice in 2010 World Cup qualifying
  • Gareth Bale had a penalty saved in the 2-1 loss in Moscow

Possible line-ups
Russia: Akinfeev; Smolnikov, V Berezutski, Ignashevich, Schennikov; Glushakov, Golovin, Mamaev; Kokorin, Dzyuba, Smolov.
Doubtful: Shatov (groin), Lodygin (back)
Misses next match if booked: Schennikov

Wales: Hennessey; Gunter, Chester, A Williams, Davies, Taylor; Allen, Ledley; J Williams, Ramsey; Bale.
Misses next match if booked: Davies

Glushakov still hopeful of Russia progress

Coach quotes
Leonid Slutski, Russia
Every fresh situation is like a newly-written book. You can have massive amounts of experience playing these sorts of matches and situations but it does not give you what you need and will not help you know how to adapt to the situation.

Wales have two world-class players – a number of their attacks are built through the quality of their play and mutual understanding. However, they also have other good players and I think Wales will look to play on the counterattack.

[Denis] Glushakov has only just returned to full fitness and is ready to start. Up until now, he played as much as he could. [Roman] Shirokov's role is to increase our options in attack by coming on as a substitute; this is something he is doing very well.

Chris Coleman, Wales
Because that game [against England] was built up as much as it was, people expect us to be on a downer, but we're not. Our players have done unbelievably well, they're in a good mood.

This team has the potential to go on and on. We can learn from this tournament; it's intense but it's enjoyable. We're in a fantastic position and we have to enjoy it. This team is very much in the middle of a journey. It's not easy, but it's fantastic and it's a huge learning curve. The team will take so much from this – playing against the best teams in Europe where you have to be at your absolute maximum. It's pushing us to the limit.

Russia are a good team or they wouldn't be at this tournament. We concentrate on ourselves. They need to win, so we're expecting a very tough game.

UEFA.com team reporters
Richard van Poortvliet, Russia (@UEFAcomRichVP)
This is undoubtedly Slutski's biggest match since taking over as Russia coach: it is do-or-die time. Russia have looked lacklustre at times in France and we could see changes to the starting XI. Glushakov, who scored as a replacement against Slovakia, is set to start although Shirokov, who has also impressed, may be used from the bench.

Williams: It hurts but Wales can bounce back

Mark Pitman, Wales (@UEFAcomMPitman)
The biggest challenge for Coleman over the last few days was lifting his side after conceding so late to lose to England in Lens. However, a place in the last 16 is very much in Wales's hands, and Coleman is expected to start with a more attacking line-up for this final group fixture – he could restore Jonathan Williams to the starting XI. No reported injuries and the mood in the camp has been positive with the players more than focused on the task in Toulouse.

Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)

Did you know?
Georgi Yartsev's Russia qualified for UEFA EURO 2004 after overcoming Mark Hughes's Wales 1-0 on aggregate in a play-off. The only goal came from Vadim Evseev in Cardiff in the second leg. Defender Sergei Ignashevich played all 180 minutes, with Aleksandr Kerzhakov an unused substitute in both games and Igor Akinfeev on the bench in Cardiff. Find out more in our extensive match background.

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