Russia take on Finland in UEFA EURO 2020 Group B in St Petersburg on Wednesday 16 June at 15:00 CET.
What's the story?
There are contrasting moods in the two camps as the Finns make the short journey across the Gulf of Finland to Saint Petersburg. While Joel Pohjanpalo headed the only goal of Finland's EURO finals debut against Denmark and Lukas Hradecky saved a penalty in a game overshadowed by the medical emergency involving Christian Eriksen, Russia slipped to their second successive 3-0 defeat in EURO finals, Belgium proving far too strong.
The Russians are without a win in their last six EURO finals outings (D2 L4), although they have suffered only one defeat in their 18 fixtures against their neighbours – and that came in the 1912 Olympic Games.
Finland: Hradecky; O’Shaughnessy, Arajuuri, Toivio; Uronen, Kamara, Sparv, Lod, Raitala; Pukki, Pohjanpalo
Russia: Shunin; Barinov, Dzhikiya, Semenov; Mário Fernandes, Zobnin, Ozdoev, Karavaev; Miranchuk, Golovin; Dzyuba
Mikael Erävouri, Finland reporter: With three points from their opening game, Finland are under less pressure than Russia. They need to focus on the same compact game that earned them a win last time out. In front of their own fans, Russia will be no easy challenge. With no injury worries, Markku Kanerva should field more or less the same line-up that started against Denmark.
Artur Petrosyan, Russia reporter: The atmosphere inside the camp was much improved on Monday and Tuesday with players smiling again and looking forward to this game. Stanislav Cherchesov's men are fully aware of the task they are going to face and are preparing to face a counterattacking side. They are now likely to stick with four at the back, which was a surprise against Belgium. Yuri Zhirkov is the only absentee.
What the coaches say
Markku Kanerva, Finland coach: "We have to improve our attacking. We need to create more chances and score more goals. This is going to be a tough game for sure. Russia pretty much have to win this game; they will be hurt and they will be aggressive. Everything in the group is open. We’re looking at everything we can do to get the win or at least get a point."
Stanislav Cherchesov, Russia coach: "Finland have just beaten Denmark; they are a tough, organised team. They defend deep and are dangerous on the counter. We'll have to do our best to break them down and avoid giving them chances on the break.”
Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)