England vs. Russia: What to Expect in Women's Euro 2013 Clash

Ben Snowball@@BenSnowballContributor IJuly 15, 2013

LINKOPING, SWEDEN - JULY 12: The team of England  comes together prior to the UEFA Women's EURO 2013 Group C match between England and Spain at Linkoping Arena on July 12, 2013 in Linkoping, Sweden.  (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images)
Christof Koepsel/Getty Images

Goals are guaranteed when England meets Russia on Tuesday, July 16, in their UEFA Women's EURO 2013 showdown.

The two sides are fully aware that a draw would likely lead them heading for the Euro exit.

Both teams lost their opening fixtures and must now focus on clawing themselves back into Group C contention with a victory.

Neither side has looked comfortable at the back with a catalogue of errors there. They must rely on their forward player to propel them towards the knockout stage.

Although England is the favourite for the clash, given the range of talent at its disposal, the defensive frailties exposed by Spain will give Russia belief that an upset is possible.

England fell to a 3-2 defeat in injury time against Spain while Russia was beaten, 3-1, by France in its first match.

In light of Hope Powell’s comments for England to give “110 percent”, as reported by the BBC, England will fly out the blocks and do most of the early running, but if the Russians are clever, they can soak up the pressure before unleashing a devastating counterattack through the suspect English defence.

Elena Morozova was featured prominently during Russia’s 3-1 loss to France, scoring a sublime goal and, after an impressive qualifying campaign, the midfielder will be looking to add to her goal tally.

After conceding three goals through defensive naivety, Russia showed that it can counter at lightning speed, so expect its wingers to hang on the English defence and exploit the space in behind it.

For England, the form of Ellen White and Eniola Aluko will be key. If they play to their best, Russia doesn't have a chance, but Russia does know it has to take its chances with a tricky match against France yet to come.

If England gets close to the standards it set at Euro 2009, where it fell to Germany, 6-2, in the final, then victory should be assured for the 2009 runner-up.

 

Prediction: Expect lots of goals as England will force the issue and the Russia defence will struggle to cope. England wins, 4-1.

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