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Euro Cup 2012: Russia Euro 2012 Team Profile, Schedule

Russia Euro Cup 2012 – Roman Pavlyuchenko Leads The Way: Four years ago at Euro 2008, the Russian busted onto the scene and made it to the semifinals of the tournament before getting bounced out. This is a club that many feel has overachieved to reach this point, but with the veteran Dick Advocaat, who will be coaching in his last tournament for the Russian soccer team once this tournament is over, in charge, the Russians have a definite chance to make to the second round of this tournament, and potentially beyond.

Russia is the favorite in Group A, and it has to be considered to have a bit of a lucky draw. That wasn’t necessarily the case in qualifying for this tournament though, as Group B was a nightmarish group that included Slovakia, Andorra, and Ireland amongst others. Needless to say, this wasn’t the easiest group in the world to try to get through, but with just four goals allowed in the 10 matches, the Russians should be proud of their defensive efforts, especially knowing that they are completely an offensive minded team.

Euro 2012 Schedule for Russia
Friday June 8th: Russia vs. Czech Republic 2:40 p.m. (ET) (ESPN Deportes)
Tuesday, June 12th: Poland vs. Russia 2:45 p.m. (ET) (ESPN)
Saturday, June 16th: Greece vs. Russia 2:45 p.m. (ET) (ESPN)

The Russians are clearly going to be up against it in this tournament if their offense isn’t going to be at its best, though. It’s all about Andrey Arshavin, who is the best of the three strikers that the team is going to trot out there in Euro 2012. Arshavin was the man that really sparked the offense in Euro 2008, and now that he is 31 years old and likely playing in one of his last major tournaments for his country, we know that he is going to want to light the world on fire once again.

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Arshavin isn’t alone, though. Pavel Pogrebnyak, one of the few player on this team that plays his club soccer outside of Russia, is one of the better strikers on the club and is just 28 years old. Igor Akinfeev is going to be anchoring the net, just as he does for one of the best teams in Russia, CSKA Moscow on a regular basis as well. Yuri Zhirkov is one of the main players that is anchoring Anzhi, one of the up and coming teams in Russia, and he should be a pillar in the Russian defense, just as he was over the course of the qualifying campaign for this tournament as well.

From a statistical standpoint, there is no reason to think that Russia won’t be able to do well in a group that involves no teams ranked higher than it is in the FIFA World Rankings at No. 11. The team does have its moments when it looks disinterested and rather normal, but in the end, what we learned four years ago is that this club has the offensive firepower to do a lot of damage against the best teams in the world. There is a good chance for the Russians to do even more good here in Euro Cup 2012.

Russia 2012 Euro Championship Tips & Predictions: We really, really like what Russia brings to the table in this one. The first match against the Czechs is the key, as three points in that fixture, and we just don’t see how the Russian won’t win Group A. We’d love to back them at +140 on the Euro Cup this year to come out on top of their group, just as they did in Group B in qualifying. Still, the task will be harder in the quarterfinals this year, with a potential rematch with the Netherlands awaiting in the quarterfinals, the same place that the Russians took out the men in orange four years ago. Germany and Portugal are potential foes as well. There is definitely a shot for Russia to be a worthwhile UEFA Euro 2012 tip at +2000 on the odds to win Euro 2012. If you want to bet on the Russia UEFA Euro 2012 odds, be sure to visit BetOnline.com.

This TSS post was written by:

- who has written 19 posts on Total Soccer Source.

Wolf is the newest member of the Total Soccer Source team, and he is a welcome asset. He's a German native, residing just outside of Berlin. He has been following the Bundesliga for over 20 years, and he has covered games for local German news outlets for the past decade.

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