Artur Petrosyan’s Finland v Russia preview: attacking focus for crunch game
Our Matchday Squad journalist will be covering Russia throughout Euro 2020
Russia disappointed in the opening match against Belgium and, to be honest, the eventual result seemed obvious as soon as the game started.
Stanislav Cherchesov surprisingly opted for a quite open 4-4-2 formation with Semenov, one of the most error-prone defenders in the past few weeks, as one of the two centre-backs. He took less than 10 minutes to cause the first conceded goal. Then Belgium added another to make it 2-0 at the break. The manager switched to five at the back for the second half to make sure the score did not grow bigger but another conceded goal made the final score nearly catastrophic for the hosts.
No doubt, Russia will have to attack in the second match as not getting three points would leave just a slim chance of getting out of the group. The Sbornaya, I think, will likely play a 4-2-3-1 formation to make it as attacking as possible knowing that Finland will most probably sit back and once again hope for rare breaks.
Zhirkov will likely be left out this time with Karavaev taking his place on the left. Zhemaletdinov will probably play behind Dzyuba with Golovin and Kuzyaev or Miranchuk supporting from either side.
It should not be a classic with a lot depending on the creative quality and speed of the Russian players. I don’t think the hosts will lose this time and we’ll likely to see three goals maximum.