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Slutsky ready to spring a surprise on England

Russia head coach Leonid Slutsky hopes to exploit his side’s unknown qualities when they face England in their Euro 2016 opener on Saturday.

Roy Hodgson’s men claimed 10 wins from 10 in their qualifying campaign and are favourites to finish top of Group B ahead of the clash at Stade Velodrome in Marseille.

Russia, by contrast, have failed to win any of their last three games and the majority of their squad play outside of the top five leagues in Europe.

Slutsky, however, says any lack of knowledge England may have of his players could work to their advantage as they look to overcome the team with the youngest average age in the tournament.

“We know the English team, maybe they don’t know us,” he said on Friday.

“If we already knew the English team today then it would be easier for us to prepare. So I use the same logic. The later we can let them know about our starting XI, the better.

“I think that there’s always this type of debate about youth and exeprience, which is the best. We have some players with a lot of experience so it could be an advantage and disadvantage. The youngsters don’t know the competition so maybe they won’t be afraid.”

Fri 10 Jun, 2016
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