With Russia hosting the World Cup in two years’ time, they will be desperate to at least reach the knock-out stages of Euro 2016 to put down a marker. Failure to do so would mean this would be their last truly competitive game prior to opening World Cup 2018.
Three group games in a short space of time could take its toll on some of the Welsh players who, with a few notable exceptions, won’t be used to playing so many high-profile games in quick succession. In fairness not many of the Russian squad will have a great deal more experience of such matches either.
Everything in this match is likely to depend on the group situation going into it, but there is every chance that all four teams in Group B could still be competing for those two automatic places in the last 16.
Russia were favourites for this game in the pre-tournament Russia v Wales betting odds, but their defence could struggle against the direct running of Gareth Bale. Should Wales have lost their opening two games, it will be worth keeping an eye on Chris Coleman’s team selection, as Wales have previously not selected Bale for friendlies on what appear to be clear orders from Real Madrid and they are unlikely to want him to be risked for what they will deem a meaningless fixture.
For Russia, the 34-year-old midfielder Roman Shirokov could be the key player here although, at the other end of the age scale, there are also high expectations for 19-year-old midfielder Aleksandr Golovin.
This looks a tough game to predict from so far out and it will certainly pay to wait until it’s clear who needs what from this game before getting involved with any Russia v Wales Euro 2016 free bets.