Euro 2016 team preview: Russia must turn potential into performances
Russia's track record of falling short on the big stage tempers any optimism. The team's semifinal appearance at Euro 2008 was its only journey past the group stage of a European Championship, and while they will be expected to reach the Round of 16, few will hold significant hope for further progress.
How they qualified: Second in Group G
Russia finished a distant eight points behind Austria and two in front of third-placed Sweden. They lost twice to the Austrians, but taking four points from the Swedes proved decisive.
How they'll proceed:
It is entirely plausible that Russia will come through the group stage, but it will be rather more difficult for them to make a run into the latter stages of the tournament, despite their improvement under Leonid Slutsky.
(4-2-3-1); GK: Igor Akinfeev; DF: Igor Smolnikov, Sergei Ignashevich, Vasili Berezutski, Dmitri Kombarov; MF: Igor Denisov, Denis Glushakov, Aleksandr Kokorin, Roman Shirokov, Oleg Shatov; FW: Artyom Dzyuba.
Key player: Roman Shirokov
Russia's captain is 34 but remains a huge influence in midfield. He is now with CSKA Moscow after a frustrating spell with Spartak that saw him sidelined due to a contractual issue. His fitness will be crucial to a side that missed him badly at the 2014 World Cup.
Manager: Leonid Slutsky
He took over from Fabio Capello in August, when Russia sat third in their qualifying group and were in danger of missing out on Euro 2016. The two-time Russian Premier League winner with CSKA Moscow guided the team to five consecutive wins between September and November.
June 11 vs. England (3 p.m. ET/7 p.m. GMT; Stade Velodrome, Marseille)
-- LIVE on ESPN
June 15 vs. Slovakia (9 a.m. ET/1 p.m. GMT; Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille)
-- LIVE on ESPN
June 20 vs. Wales (3 p.m. ET/7 p.m. GMT; Stadium de Toulouse, Toulouse)
-- LIVE on ESPN2
Games are also LIVE on ESPN Deportes, ESPN FC, WatchESPN and the ESPN app.