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Group stage fight for 2020 UEFA Euro Cup is not yet over for Russia, says head coach

The head coach noted that four more matches are left for Russia to play before the end of the qualifying tournament
Head coach of Russian national football team Stanislav Cherchesov Mikhail Tereshchenko/TASS
Head coach of Russian national football team Stanislav Cherchesov
© Mikhail Tereshchenko/TASS

NOVOGORSK /Moscow Region/, October 9. /TASS/. The qualifying group stage for the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup is not yet over and there are four more matches for Russia to play in its Group I, Stanislav Cherchesov, the head coach of the Russian national football team, said on Wednesday.

"Everything is still ahead in our group and there are four more matches to play," Cherchesov told a news conference ahead of his team’s home match against Scotland on Thursday.

The qualifying match between Russia and Scotland will be played at Moscow's 81,000-seat capacity Luzhniki Stadium, which hosted matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The game is scheduled to kick off at 9:45 p.m. Moscow time on October 10.

In their previous Group I qualifier, played on September 7 in Glasgow, Russia defeated Scotland 2-1.

Russian team’s captain Artyom Dzyuba said addressing the news conference that the Thursday’s opponent should not be underestimated as "Scotland is a very strong team."

The Russian forward added that he was glad to be playing at the legendary Luzhniki Stadium, which he believes is a symbol of the Russian national football team.

"This is a special stadium, it symbolizes our team," the 31-year-old forward commented. "I call on everyone to come to the match, our supporters need to help us, I hope that our fans will once again make us move forward!"

The Russian team is playing another Group I qualifier this week on Sunday against Cyprus. The fixture is due on October 13 in Nicosia at the 22,859-seat capacity GSP Stadium, which was opened 20 years ago.

After the six matches between all the Group I teams, Russia has secured the 2nd place with 15 points following leaders Belgium with 18 points. Kazakhstan is currently ranked 3rd (7 points), as followed by Cyprus (7 points), Scotland (6 points) and San Marino (0 points). The top two teams in the group will qualify for the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup.

The matches of the 2020 Euro Cup will be held at stadiums in 12 different cities across Europe, namely in London (England), Munich (Germany), Rome (Italy), Baku (Azerbaijan), St. Petersburg (Russia), Bucharest (Romania), Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Dublin (Ireland), Bilbao (Spain), Budapest (Hungary), Glasgow (Scotland) and Copenhagen (Denmark).

A total of 24 national football teams will be playing in the final tournament of the 2020 Euro Cup. All the 55 UEFA national member teams, including 12 teams from the hosting countries, have to play qualifying matches to vie for the berth in the final 24-team lineup of the quadrennial European football championships.

It is possible that some of the national teams from the hosting countries of the 2020 Euro Cup will not be playing on home soil in case they fail to clear the qualifying stage.

Luzhniki Stadium

The Luzhniki Stadium was built in the Russian capital more than half a century ago and underwent reconstruction ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. In addition to hosting other fixtures, the stadium was the venue to the opening and final matches of the world football championships last year.

The refurbishment of the Luzhniki Arena began in 2013 as part of the country’s preparations to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup. It reopened in November 2017 boasting an almost 81,000-seat capacity ahead of the global football event.