Russia vs. Czech Republic: Experienced Forwards Will Lead Russia to Victory

Justin Welton@JustinWeltonAnalyst IIJune 7, 2012

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - JUNE 01:  Aleksandr Kerzhakov of Russia celebrates scoring the first goal  during the international friendly match between Italy and Russia at Letzigrund on June 1, 2012 in Zurich, Switzerland.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Russia played an enjoyable, fun-to-watch style of football at Euro 2008 and it brought them a semi-finals appearance as a reward.

They played well in 2008, when they were an up-and-coming team, but now that they have gained four years of experience, expect the play to be even better. 

We'll see that experience come to life in the first game against Czech Republic.

Andrei Arshavin leads a talented cast of forwards, a group that is the oldest in the competition, according to

Arshavin didn't have a great tenure at Arsenal, but there is no questioning his talent. He has great pace, a quick first step and the ability to finish. 

Russia's experienced forwards played a major role in how successful the national team was heading into this tournament. They are unbeaten in the past 14 contests including a 3-0 thrashing of Italy last Friday. 

This team is the real deal, and seeing how they are in one of the weakest groups (Greece, Poland and Czech Republic), we should expect to see similar results to 2008. 11-of-23 players on the roster participated at Euro 2008; seven from 2004.

Czech Republic's defense isn't coming into the tournament on a high note either. They have given up a goal in three-straight games in 2012 including two to Hungary in a defeat.

Russia's forwards will be able to capitalize on porous defending because of their experience. They have played well in this competition before, the offense has played well and they are hot right now.


Russia scores three goals en route to a 3-1 victory.