Advocaat: Russia's style to be same against Poland

Advocaat: Russia's style to be same against Poland

Published Jun. 11, 2012 8:12 p.m. ET

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.