All eyes on Russian fans for Slovakia game in Lille

UEFA is desperate to avoid a repeat of the violent scenes which marred the end of Russia's Euro 2016 game with England and extra security measures will be in place to control fans at Wednesday's Group B game against Slovakia.

Russia fans appeared to charge at a section of England supporters in the stadium after their 1-1 draw in Marseille on Saturday, forcing them to flee.

The scenes caused outrage across the football world, and European governing body UEFA acknowledged that there were segregation issues at the Stade Velodrome.

"UEFA will implement corrective measures to strengthen the deployment of security personnel at stadiums, in close collaboration with local authorities," it said in a statement.

No specific plans for the Russia v Slovakia game in Lille have been publicly announced but there is bound to be a much heavier security presence, especially after Russian officials criticized UEFA for a lack of planning.

Trouble between rival fans and local French youths had brewed in Marseille for days before kick-off. In addition to the charging incident inside the stadium, a flare appeared to be launched from the Russian section towards the England fans.

France is still in a state of the emergency after November's terrorist attacks in Paris but Russian football federation honorary chairman Vyacheslav Koloskov told Russia media he was not happy with French security.

"Someone brought fireworks into the stadium, maybe tomorrow it will be a bomb," he said.

Russia coach Leonid Slutski will be trying to concentrate on matters on the field after the last-gasp, barely deserved draw against England gave his side a boost ahead of the seemingly easier task of facing Slovakia.

Russia were pinned back in their own half for long spells against England but the forwards are expecting more joy against Slovakia, who lost 2-1 to Wales in a very open encounter in their first group game on Saturday.

"I think if we add 20-30 per cent in attack ... we'll create more chances," Russia striker Artem Dzyuba said.

Vasili Berezutski's aerial prowess was proven by his injury time leveller against England. Russia will surely look to exploit this tactic again given few players have any chance of matching the almost 1.90 metre defender when it comes to headers.

Slovakia are bottom of the group with no points and although the four best third-placed sides will reach the last 16 of the expanded 24-team tournament, they do not want to risk needing a win against England in their last group game to have a chance.

Defender Martin Skrtel saw enough verve in the Wales match for his team to still progress.

"I believe we can take the good parts of the game into the other games and get results," he said.

Slovakia coach Jan Kozak was upset at his full backs for not attacking enough in the first half against Wales and having seen how Russia went into their shell against England, he will want them to press the Russians too.

Since both teams began competing as independent nations, Russia have won two and lost one of their meetings. Their previous encounter was a 1-0 friendly win for Russia in May 2014.

Last update: Mon, 13/06/2016 - 09:54

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