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
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
The only real selection questions are with Russia’s goalkeeper
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.