Russia face a must-win game against Wales on Monday as they seek the three points they will need to have any chance of making the last 16 of Euro 2016.
Leonid Slutsky’s side have taken just one point from their previous encounters with England and Slovakia but are still in with a chance of making it through to the knockout stage if they can get the better of the Welsh.
Four points looks likely to be enough to see a nation qualify for the last 16, meaning Wales arrive in Toulouse needing just a point to give themselves hope of making it out of Group B.
Chris Coleman’s men will need to pick themselves back up from their last-minute loss to rivals England last week, Daniel Sturridge striking in stoppage time to secure the Three Lions a 2-1 victory.
That was the fourth loss in the last six matches the Welsh have suffered but Gareth Bale and co have insisted they will quickly put the England defeat behind them.
Russia’s recent run of form is not much better, winning one of the last seven, but they do at least have a decent record against Wales, winning the last three encounters.
The Bears will need to improve defensively to have a chance of picking up the win they need having kept just two clean sheets in their last 17 matches at European Championship finals.
Given Russia’s poor defensive record, Bale could appeal at 33/10 to score the first goal on Monday having opened the scoring in the games with England and Slovakia.
Bale looks likely to play behind lone striker Hal Robson-Kanu in what could be an unchanged side for Wales after Joe Ledley declared himself fit to play.
Ledley failed to finish the game against England and there were fears he had suffered another leg injury having been a doubt for Euro 2016 due to a fractured leg.
Meanwhile, Slutsky could make changes to his Russia side after a poor first-half display in the 2-1 defeat to Slovakia, Aleksandr Golovin and Roman Neustadter having got the hook at half-time.