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Spain favourites, Russia outsiders: Advocaat

Spain favourites, Russia outsiders: Advocaat

Warsaw: Russia coach Dick Advocaat Tuesday played down his team's chances at Euro 2012, naming the Spanish, the Dutch and the Germans as the tournament favourites.

The 64-year-old Dutchman called Russia "outsiders," clarifying that he didn't mean among the favourites, but "simply outsiders".

"The favourites are Spain, Holland and Germany," he said.

But Advocaat said the experience that the players had accrued since their run to the semifinals of Euro 2008 - "the skeleton of the team is still the same" - stood Russia in good stead.

"On the whole we have a good feeling before the Euro," he said.

His only injury concerns ahead of Friday's opener against the Czech Republic are goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, who has a cruciate ligament injury that has flared up, and winger Marat Izmailov, who suffered a knock in the 0-0 draw against Lithuania, Monday.

Right-back Alexander Anyukov is training on an individual programme but should be ready, he said adding that "there are no other problems".

Russia face the Czechs in Wroclaw before returning to Warsaw to play co-host Poland on June 12 and Greece on June 16 in the group stage of the tournament.


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