Russia, one of Europe’s best football teams comes to Macedonia for the 4th round game of the EURO 2012 qialifications in Group B.
The first big challenge for Macedonia at home is called Russia. After the win away to Andorra, the Macedonian national team now faces the impossible. Without star player Goran Pandev and Dynamo Kyiv’s Goran Popov, Macedonia must get a good result from this game and stay on track with the other teams of the Group B.
It is interesting that in five days Macedonia plays against one of the smallest countries in the world and against the biggest one. Andorra, with its 467.63 km2 and a populatrion of just 80.100 is an ant compared to Russia’s 17.075.400 km2 and the population of 141.927.300.
Russia is coming in Skopje after the great 3:2 victory away to Ireland. With this win the Russians got back in the race for the first position, but they have to thank Armenia as well, because of their win over Slovakia. Macedonia with it’s only win against Andorra must search for a win against Russia. But national team coach Mirsad Jonuz says that he will be satisfied with any result except a defeat.
“This Russian team is much better that the one that won easily here four years ago with players like Arshavin, Bilyaletdinov, Dzagoev etc, they are all players that are playing in the top European clubs. We’ve watched their games against Slovakia and Ireland and our tactic is nearly done. After the tonights training I will decide about the starting line-up. I will be very happy if we win, but also if we don’t lose. The situatuion in our group is very interesting and Armenia showed that surprises are possible.” In yesterday’s tv show Topki, Jonuz said that Aleksandar Lazevski will surely start the game.
Macedonia and Russia have already face when both teams were in a same group in the qualifications for the EURO 2008. Russia easily won both games and Macedonia even failed to score a goal.
On the first game in Skopje from today’s squad involved were Nikolce Noveski, Igor Mitreski, Velice Sumulikoski, Vlade Lazarevski and Darko Tasevski, while on the second the same played except for Noveski who was left on the bench. Mitreski even missed a penalty kick while it was still 0:0.
The Russia football union was formed in 1912 and the same year was accepted by FIFA, while in UEFA was accepted in 1954 as USSR. Russia same as Macedonia failed to qualify at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa after losing to Slovenia in the play-off.
The game will be played on Tuesday at the National Arena Philip II of Macedon in Skopje with a kick-off at 20.30 CET. Referee will be Stefan Johannesson from Sweden.