Poland vs. Russia. Russia carved up Poland not once, not twice but four times. There was the 40 years of enforced Communist dictatorship, not to mention lingering resentment over the 2010 plane crash on Russian territory that killed Polish president Lech Kaczynski. The tension is palpable. Fan groups have already clashed with police and each other.
The Poles played well against Greece, in the first half. They created chances down their Dortmund right. Robert Lewandowski hopped on a cross to score a goal. Either through lack of impetus or closed space, the attacks shut down in the second half. They will need to play with gusto for 90 minutes, against a stronger Russian squad.
Russia looked imperious in the first match against the Czech Republic. They counterattacked and they exploited the space between the midfield and defense. Arshavin, after his return to Zenit, has found his form. They scored four goals and, scarily, their finishing was not ideal. A win is not necessary, but the Russians would clinch a group win.
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