Ahead of their second group game with Poland tonight, Russia's Alexandr Kerzhakov has been speaking about what the thournament's standout team thus far are expecting from the hosts "We know they’ll be very passionate and ready to play. The group will probably be quite tight so this game is probably a very important one in terms of determining who progresses. We’ll have to be wary of their attacking midfielders and the threat they pose, they have some good experience but we have hope that our performances through the qualifying part of the tournament means that we’ll be better prepared."
With the Andrey Arshavin inspired side gliding to a 4-1 defeat of Czech Republic in their opening tie, Kerzhakov is feeling confident "We feel like we have a good chance of progressing through our group but there will be no easy games. We were pleased with our first game but now we have Poland – as hosts they will be desperate to progress. We also have Greece who won the tournament only a few years ago, we expect a tough set of games."
Hoping to build on their Euro 2008 semi-final spot the Zenit St. Petersburg man has already got his eye on who he sees as the tournament favourites "I played in Spain for a few seasons and saw their progression first hand. Spain have had a fantastic four or five years in International football and I’m hopeful that we can have the same sort of progression in Russia. For this tournament I would say they are favourites but I also think Germany are a very strong side – they have an excellent understanding between the players in their side and it shows in their football. We also played Italy recently, they were a very strong side and good test for us ahead of the tournament."
Alexandr Kershakov's Russia take-on Poland today at 7:45PM at National Stadium Warsaw, live on itv1.