How the Bookies See it
- Winner: Russia 11/8, Draw 11/5, Slovakia 11/5 – Coral
- First Goalscorer: Artem Dzyuba 11/2, Fedor Smolov 7/1, Aleksandr Kokorin 6/1 – Paddy Power
- Half Time/Full Time: Russia/Russia 29/10, Draw/Draw 15/4, Draw/Russia 22/5 - BetVictor
- A stoppage time equaliser against England in Marseilles on Saturday snatched an unlikely point for Russia. The side ranked 29th in the world do have an impressive record against their Group B rivals, avoiding defeat in all but two of the eight meetings between the two countries.
- Slovakia will be looking to pick up their first points of the tournament after a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Wales. Having failed to contain the spritely Gareth Bale, Slovakia will be hoping for better luck against an aged Russian side. An impressive set of qualifying and friendly results suggest that Slovakia should still be considered dark horses.
Less than a week into Euro 2016 and Russia’s campaign has already been overshadowed by the threat of disqualification from the competition following violent scenes in Marseilles, with UEFA promising swift action should such events be repeated. The Russian team will be hoping that a positive performance will have them back in the news for all the right reasons come the full time whistle, with Bet365 offering 11/8 on that very outcome. A second consecutive group stage exit from the European Championships would be unthinkable for a country that is set to host the FIFA World Cup in two years’ time.
Slovakia are a decent outfit, but it remains to be seen how their loss to Wales will affect the team’s spirit. The side ranked 24th in the world are capable of pulling off major results as they proved when they recorded a 3-1 win over world champions Germany in a pre-tournament friendly. This may be the first European Championships for the Slovaks, but Martin Skrtel, Marek Hamsik and company will be eyeing a crucial win over an ageing Russian outfit. Boylesports punters can benefit from odds of 5/2 on a Slovak shindig come full time.
The Russians do pose a threat, and Artem Dzyuba is a firm favourite with 888Sport to score at anytime (19/10), while England’s tormentor Aleksei Berezutski is handsomely priced at 25/1 with SkyBet to grab his second of the competition. Meanwhile, Napoli midfielder Marek Hamsik may pose a likely goal threat and is 10/1 with SkyBet to break the deadlock. With both sides fearing the looming trap door, fans may be in for a cagey affair, so a wager on the No Goalscorer market could prove a sensible move at 15/2 with Coral.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Correct Score - Russia 0-0 Slovakia - 7/1 William Hill
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