Stanislav Cherchesov
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Artur Petrosyan’s Russia v Denmark preview: Russia’s defensive frailties could be exposed in Copenhagen

| 17.06.2021

Our Matchday Squad journalist will be covering Russia throughout Euro 2020

After disappointing in the first match against Belgium, Russia quite notably improved and deservedly beat Finland 1-0.

The team were obviously happy with the three points but hoped for more goals, keeping the attacking formation even when under pressure in the second half. Russia weren’t able to convert their chances, while if the Finns were luckier in their breaks, there could’ve been a different result.

Russia defender Zhirkov has left the squad and will not be involved in the Euro anymore. Mario Fernandes had a scare after awkwardly falling on his back but the scan did not reveal any damage to his spine. In any case, the Brazilian-born defender is unlikely to go to Copenhagen and that is a real blow for the team.

Russia will probably keep their formation with three centre-backs but the wing-backs will certainly play deeper this time and the approach should be much more conservative. The Sbornaya badly need a draw as even a narrow one-goal defeat could result in Stanislav Cherchesov’s men finishing bottom of the group.

I was impressed with Denmark’s performance in the first half against Belgium. They were very energetic, with great movement and hunger for goal. I believe they will do their best to play a similar game with the support of their fans.

It will be extremely difficult for the Russians. Especially in the first half when the pressure will likely be enormous. I’d like to hope for the best but am afraid that Russia’s defensive issues will be all too visible on Monday.

Denmark need to win and they’d better win big so I think they are the likeliest winners here.

Check out the latest Euro 2020 odds.



Artur Petrosyan

Having received a University degree in Economics, Artur spent just a few years working in banks and with an oil company. Then, he decided to switch to what he has always enjoyed the most, which is football.

Since then, he has worked as an editor for various outlets, including Russia’s biggest sports newspaper Sport-Express. He has also contributed to publications including the Guardian, ESPN, the New York Times and other major outlets. Since 2017, he has been a UEFA reporter covering Russian teams in Europe.

Artur also represent Russia at different jury panels in various international votes, covers Russia and CIS countries looking for young talents for the Guardian; and scouts players around the globe.