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Lithuania v Russia Preview & Tips (29th May)
Lithuania and Russia meet in a friendly match on May 29, Tuesday. Game starts 16:00 GMT>
After gaining its independence from the Soviet Union, Lithuania has not been able to participate in a major international tournament. It may sound like an unfortunate fact, but the truth is, Lithuania is still building a name for itself, and it may take a few more years before the team finally blooms into a competitive bunch.
In the qualification for Euro 2008, Lithuania surprised the world with a 1-1 draw against Italy. In the same year – this time around, in a World Cup qualifier – they destroyed Romania, 3-0. As a result Lithuania climbed up to as high as 48th in the FIFA World Rankings, a feat they have not achieved for so long now.
Last year was a different qualification run for them. Seeded in a group with Spain, Czech Republic, Scotland, and Liechtenstein, the Lithuanians could only muster out five points out of the possible thirty – one win and two draws, and a hit of slow but sure improvement.
Russia is in the final stages of its preparation for the Euros this June. Dick Advocaat recently named his final squad for the Poland-Ukraine hosted tourney this summer, with CSKA Moscow defender Kirill Nababkin making the list while Magomed Ozdoyev of Lokomotiv Moscow and Artem Dzyuba of Spartak Moscow didn’t make the sheet. Advocaat called up the defender to ensure that they have an extra man that can play at the back – a telling move for a manager who values defensive stability which the Russians now possess.
The Dutchman head honcho confessed of his intent to play with a 4-3-3 a week ago. This is alongside the idea of playing a lone striker in Aleksandr Kerzhakov and two drifters in Andrey Arshavin and Alan Dzagoev. With these and many more reasons you should expect Russia, a team in a relatively easy Group A, to wow you with their attacking moves this summer.
Lithuania v Russia Betting Preview
We don’t need to call this one as the result is already as clear as the match-up – Lithuania v Russia doesn’t really offer you an opportunity to weigh sides. It’s Russia all the way, although not in the same intensity as you would want the European giants to be. After all players will be saved and efforts will be deliberately minimized to prevent untoward injuries and perhaps make it hard for ‘Group A scouts’ watching on.
Verdict: A Russia 2-1 win is on the cards.
Russia is at 1/4 to win, 17/2 to do so at a 2-1 score-line. Expect the game to go under 2.5 goals at 11/10. For a team like Lithuania, containing the Russians in both halves could be too much to ask. Although they may get away with a goal in this match, expect the Russians to win the half-time/full-time battle at 4/6.
All odds are from Bet365.com (£200 FREE BET!).