Neither side played particularly open football – but strangely, this turned out to be a very good contest.
Wojciech Szczesny was suspended, so Franciszek Smuda continued with Przemyslaw Tyton, the hero of the first game, in goal. More interestingly, he changed the structure of his side, moving to more of a 4-1-4-1 formation, dropping left-winger Maciej Rybus in favour of a solid holder, Dariusz Dudka. Ludovic Obraniak moved to the left.
Dick Advocaat continued with the XI that hit four goals in Russia’s opening day win over the Czech Republic. Aleksandr Kerzhakov retained his place upfront despite Roman Pavlyuchenko’s impact from the bench – Kerzhakov’s finishing had been wayward, but his movement and link-up play was excellent, and he deserved his place here.
Neither side took the initiative and both looked to prevent the other counter-attacking. Smuda was reactive with his approach and fairly negative, but his tactics worked well. Read more »