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Friendly International: Russia vs Lithuania preview

Kick-off: Saturday, 26 March @16:00 GMT

Venue: Otkrytiye Arena (Moscow)

Live Stream: fuboTV (US), bet365 (non-US)

Head to head record

Lithuania vs Russia 0-0 (2012 Friendly International)
Lithuania vs Russia 1-4 (2008 Friendly International)
Russia vs Lithuania 4-3 (2004 Friendly International)

Russia vs Lithuania prediction

Russia will be looking to bounce back from a 3-1 loss to Croatia when they take on Lithuania at Otkrytiye Arena on Saturday afternoon. The Lithuanians suffered a 1-0 loss to Romania in midweek and they face yet another difficult task in the friendly against Leonid Slutsky.

Upsetting loss to Croatia

Despite the fact that Croatia played without their star players Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic in the November friendly against Russia, Leonid Slutsky’s troops suffered a 3-1 loss to Ante Cacic’s men in front of home fans. The Russians will take on the likes of England, Slovakia and Wales in Group B at the upcoming Euro 2016 finals and they are regarded as one of the favourites to make it to the knockout stages of the showpiece tournament. Nonetheless, the Eastern European giants need to prepare in the best possible way for the European Championship finals if they are to play an important role at the tournament in France. Saturday’s game against Lithuania is of big importance for the hosts as they are eager to return to winning ways following the shocking 3-1 loss to Croatia. Artem Dzyuba scored nine goals on the road to France and the Zenit striker is widely expected to lead the line for the hosts against Lithuania.

Experienced attacker Aleksandr Kerzhakov returns to the squad, while Brazilian-born ace Guilherme has received his first ever call-up. Roman Neustadter will have a chance to earn his first Russia cap as well and he is likely to play some part in Saturday’s game against Lithuania.

Fine performance against Romania

Lithuania did suffer a 1-0 loss to Romania in Wednesday’s friendly, but the team’s performances against the Tricolori was anything but poor. The former Soviet republic, though, failed to score in previous two matches on the international stage and, with Russia next, I would not be surprised if they extend their goalless run to three games. Coach Edgaras Jankauskas tested 16 players in the game against Romania and he will certainly use Saturday’s clash against Russia to test the footballers who did not take part in the Stadiounul Marin Anastasovici. Talented attacker Lukas Spalvis is likely to keep his place up front and he should be deployed as a lone forward. Anyhow, Lithuania will have a big fish to fry in the game against Russia and you should know that the visitors are on an eight-game winless on the road.

Arturas Rimkevicius did not make the squad (injury), while goalkeeper Giedrius Arlauskis has been left out of the squad. Emilijus Zubas is likely to continue in goal, while Ernestas Velius, who made his debut against Romania, could play some part against Russia.

Quick Facts

  • Lithuania failed to score in seven of their last eight away games
  • Lithuanias conceded eight goals in previous two meetings with Russia
  • Russia managed to keep three clean sheets in last four home fixtures
  • Sbornaya recorded five wins in previous six games
  • Russia recorded a 1-0 win over Portugal in their last home game

Russia vs Lithuania betting tip

Russia are superior to Lithuania and given that they are desperate to make amends for the loss to Croatia, I believe that there is a big value in betting on the hosts, who continue their preparations for the Euro 2016 finals. Edgaras Jankauskas’s men are not regarded as good travelers and seeing that they were outclassed by Russia in previous two meetings between the two sides, the visitors are likely to return home empty-handed.

Tip: Russia/Russia

Odds: 1.70 (7/10) @Betfair

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