England and Wales' hopes of both qualifying from Group B at Euro 2016 will largely depend on which Russia shows up. Their reputation for faltering in major competitions will follow them to France this summer and with Russian sport as a whole currently at is lowest ebb just two years ahead of their World Cup, their football team are desperate to buck the trend of negativity.
The guidance of manager Leonid Slutsky ensured they secured qualification of this summer's competition despite their rotten start to the qualifying campaign under Fabio Capello. But their hopes of hanging around in June will not have been helped by the withdrawal of Alan Dzagoev.
The influential midfielder suffered a broken metatarsal just weeks ahead of the opening game against Roy Hodgson's side, meaning he will have no role to play. Another name notable by its absence is that of Aleksandr Kerzhakov, with the experienced striker left out of the squad entirely.
Providing the firepower for Slutsky's side instead will be Artem Dzyuba. The Zenit St Petersburg striker struck eight goals in eight appearances for Russia during their qualifying campaign, the fourth best return in Europe, helping them finish ahead of Sweden and snatching that valuable automatic qualification spot.
The 27-year-old kept pace with Hulk in Zenit's goalscoring charts, finishing the 2015-16 campaign with 15 league goals to his name, two behind the Brazil international. He was also a consistent force in the club's Champions League campaign, despite it being ended in the first knockout 16 stage by Benfica. Dzyuba finished with six goals to his name, one behind Robert Lewandowski and good enough for third best in Europe with a haul that included a decisive double away at Lyon that sealed his side's place in the last 16 of the competition.
It hasn't been a bad return for the striker who has just finished his first season as a Zenit player, following his arrival on a free transfer from boyhood club Spartak Moscow.
While his international debut came back in 2011, Dzyuba has only really broken into the first team during the last 18 months. In a qualifier against Lichtenstein in November last year, he plundered four for himself – just a year on from his first international goal against the same opponents. It would spark a wonderful run of form for the Moscow-born striker who would go on to score 12 in his next 13 games for club and country.
Russia had to fight their way into Euro 2016. Prior Capello's dismissal in July 2015, they sat third, four points behind Sweden. Dzyuba's goals were crucial in competing the turnaround steered by Slutsky, scoring winners against Sweden and Moldova in addition to the four in the 7-0 win over Lichtenstein. While Russia will feel the absences of the creative duo of Dzagoev and Denis Cheryshev, they still have a striker capable of showing up when it counts.