Advocaat: Russia’s style to be same against Poland

Don’t expect any major changes to Russia’s lineup or attacking

style of play when the team takes on Poland at the European

Championship.

The Russians beat the Czech Republic 4-1 in their opening Group

A match, and they will next face the co-hosts on Tuesday.

”There’s not much reason to make big changes,” Russia coach

Dick Advocaat said Monday.

The way the Russia forwards cut through the Czech defense on

Friday elevated Advocaat’s team to the ranks of tournament

favorites, and the Dutch coach knows a win against Poland would

guarantee a quarterfinal place with a match to spare.

But Advocaat said he would not be taking a win for granted

against a Poland team playing at home and desperate for a win after

its opening 1-1 draw with Greece.

”Poland is a strong team with home advantage,” Advocaat said,

”but we proved in the first game we have a good side that can make

life tough for every team.”

Quick passing combinations and swift forwards were the key to

Russia’s domination of the Czechs in Wroclaw, while Poland started

fast and strong against Greece but faded.

The Poles gave up a 1-0 lead and were ultimately happy to settle

for a 1-1 draw with Greece after substitute goalkeeper Przemyslaw

Tyton saved a penalty from Giorgos Karagounis with his first touch

of the match.

Advocaat has no major injury worries going into the match,

although experienced defender Aleksandr Anyukov received treatment

briefly in training Monday after hurting a toe on his right

foot.

The only real selection questions are with Russia’s goalkeeper

and striker.

Advocaat played Zenit St. Petersburg goalkeeper Vyacheslav

Malafeev against the Czechs, possibly because first choice keeper

Igor Akinfeev had a flare-up of a cruciate ligament injury in his

left knee. Akinfeev appears to be fully fit, but it remains to be

seen if Advocaat will return him to his starting lineup.

Meanwhile, striker Aleksandr Kerzhakov failed to add to his 19

international goals against the Czechs and the man who replaced him

as a late substitute, Roman Pavlyuchenko, set up Alan Dzagoev’s

second goal and scored one himself – taking his international tally

to 21 – to push for a starting spot.

While much has been made of the political overtones of Tuesday’s

match and historical tensions between Poland and Russia, Advocaat

refused to comment on them at a news conference Monday. He also

declined to answer questions about allegations that Russia fans

directed racist chants at Czech Republic defender Theodor Gebre

Selassie, who is black.