Betting Tip: No clean Sheet or 0.5 match goals
Betting Tip #2: Lay bet vs England
Betting Tip #3: Does not qualify for the direct elimination stage
Over/Under: Under 2.5 goals on all group matches
Key Stat: No clean sheet in their entire qualification phase.
Russia is a confused team that is just getting a hold of itself on the eve of the Euro Cup 2016. It stands as the weakest opponent on Group B, and relies too much on key defense players to survive a game against strong opponents.
A victory against Sweden in the qualifiers and another one against Portugal in a friendly, gives Russia some hope. But both those games were won with the minimal goal difference. The same strategy of “hold back and strike on clear opportunities” is expected to be used against offensive teams in their group.
From a betting perspective the scenario is not entirely clear for Russia. Other than the fact that they do not draw much and all games played in the last season had one goal as minimum.
They stand as the underdogs of their group and after a poor World Cup the best match score that could be expected is a draw. We would suggest to bet against Russia on all its games, take the underscore since they are well aware of their own weaknesses and opponents attacking virtues.
The underscore 2.5 is a safe approach. Their defense is strong, and with sneaky attackers like Gareth Bale (Wales) and Wayne Rooney (England) the team will be too busy fighting for ball possession and player coverage.
Euro Cup Group B Predictions and Bet Picks
Russia vs England – England Straight Win
- Wayne Rooney to score first
- England Over 0.5 goals
- Second half 0.5 goals
England will win this game, but with difficulty as Russia will pull back. A low score is expected. Although we wouldn’t bet on the score based on Russia’s most recent defeat against Croatia 1 – 3.
Russia vs Wales – under 2.5 Match Goals
- Gareth Bale to score first
- No clean sheet
Wales relies mostly on Gareth Bale in the attack. They have a strong offense but not enough to overcome Russia’s defense. We expect a draw on this game, with a slight advantage on Wales. However, Russia could give the surprise here just like it did against Portugal and Sweden.
Russia vs Slovakia – Slovakia Win
- Both teams to score
- Over 0.5 goals
A confusing game at best. Slovakia has a similar story as Russia in the qualifiers, but reversed. They began with 6 straight wins, including victories against Spain and Italy. But then they softened in the next 4 matches with just one point from 12, managing to barely qualify in a tough group.
However, they remain favorites for presenting a more solid attack and team formation overall. We could also see some goals from both sides on this game. A safe 0.5 goals over seems like a surebet. Both teams to score is also likely.
How did they qualify?
With lots of effort with a dramatic end. Russia, once a football superpower in the eve of the sport, has been lucky just to qualify for the Euro Cup.
With no games won during the 2014 World Cup and only 8 points in six games, they made an outstanding recovery with 4 straight wins in their final games. The final dramatic game against Sweden was vital in their qualification.
So what was wrong?
Fabio Capello, their manager until July 2014.
Under his guidance Russia was a confused and poor performing team. Capello was replaced by Leonid Slutsky as coach, who reinforced the team’s defense with new players from CSA Moskow, the country’s strongest club that usually qualifies for the Champions League´s direct elimination stages.
Slutsky has been managing CSA Moskow for quite some time now, so his experience with the players returned the team it’s usually skill.
Euro Cup Qualifying Stats
- A Super Power as the Soviet Union
- Powerless as Russia
- Performance in the Rise, but unstable
Won the Euro Cup 1960 as the Soviet Union in 1960 and finalist in 1964, 1972 and 1988.
As Russia however their best performance was in 2008, when they achieved the semi-finals.
Euro Cup History
Their initial Euro Cup history made them one of the strongest rivals in the continent, winning the 1960 edition and reaching several final games thereafter. However, their only title was achieved in great part from several football super power nations refusing to play against the Soviets. West Germany refused to even attend the tournament in protest towards USSR Middle East invasions. Spain forfeit the semifinals game vs Russia for the same reason, so the Russians got an easy trophy.
From that point on the Russian’s were always present in the final stages, but never again managed to win a Euro Cup. After the collapse of the Soviet Union their strength as an international superpower died away.
Since 1989 the best achievement for Russia has been semifinals in 2008. Still, they remain a fearful challenge with a powerful defensive style of play.
Russia is lacking recent superstars and relies too much on the country´s top club, CSA Moscow, for a player base. Their strength is defense, but compared to the other teams in the Euro Cup they lack solidity.
Ignashevich is 36, and that goes to explain the country has been dry of super players in the last 5 years. He plays as a CSA Moscow defender, and has helped the national team achieve 5 clean sheets in 9 games he played. Not only that, but he scored 3 times for his team during the qualifiers and friendlies.
A key player in the team´s overall performance, without him the team is prone to allowing goals.
Artem Dzyuba is the top scorer in the team with 8 goals total in the qualifiers. Note most of these goals were against Liechtenstein, Belarus and Azerbaijan. Opponents that cannot be compared to England, Wales and Slovakia.
Coach – Leonid Slutsky
Replaced Capello as coach when the second was sacked in July 2015. In short notice Slutsky managed to re-structure the team and qualify easily (in a weak group) to the Euro Cup.
Slutsky was a player himself when young, but after rescuing a cat that had climbed to high, his aspirations as a player were over after falling and suffering a knee injury.
Betting Tips and Picks
- Lay bet against England
- Wales to Draw no bet vs Russia
- Slovakia Draw no bet vs Russia
- Under 2.5 goals on all matched
- Artem Dzyuba to score first
So far Russia seems the team to bet against, but hold tight! Their recent historical stats during the qualifiers are polluted with Capello´s low performance as a manager. Which makes things hard as Slutsky has not been around for long, but the team did upgrade 2x and recovered its expected level. For a better understanding on Russia’s real performance let’s take a greater look at their most recent stats:
– With Capello they were unstable against every opponent, beaten by Austria on both games and drawing vital games against small rivals like Kazakhstan and Moldova.
– Greatest achievement – beating Portugal by one goal and Sweden for the minimal difference, both friendly games. The game was won at the last minute, but the entire match was controlled by Russia with few attempts by Portugal.
– Under Slutsky however they did lose against Croatia and conceded 3 goals for just one. This game will be key in analyzing weaknesses in a so far solid defense.
- Under 2.5 goals against strong teams
A very interesting stat to bet on, Russia does have an easy following trend in their goal average. They have a strong defense, but not that solid. With small teams they tend to go full attack, and even concede one goal in the process. But against strong teams like Portugal and Sweden, they pull back and score 1 goal max, conceding that much against stronger opponents.
Our prediction is that Russia will play full defense against most opponents in Group B, who all boast a strong offense.
- Against weak teams they score Over 2.5 goals
- Against strong opponents they play a defensive strategy, and lower the number of goals per game, with an average of one match goal scored per match.
Russia Stats – Game Results
Austria: Lost 0 – 1 and Lost 0 – 1
Azerbaijan: Won easily 4 – 0
Belarus: Won 4 – 2
Croatia: Lost 1 – 3
Hungary: Won 2 – 1
Kazakhstan: Draw 1 – 1
Liechtenstein: Won 4 – 0 and Won 7 – 0
Moldova: Draw 1 – 1 and Won 2 – 1
Montenegro: Won 3 – 0 and Won 2 – 0
Portugal: Won 1 – 0
Sweden: Draw 1 – 1
 11v11.com, Russia Team Stats, 2016