Euro 2016: Everything you need to know about today’s games

Dimitri Payet is our one to watch tonight when France take on Albania. Pic: PA.
Dimitri Payet is our one to watch tonight when France take on Albania. Pic: PA.
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Are you planning to watch all today’s fixtures or still pondering how to best spend your valuable viewing time?

Here’s what you need to know about today’s Euro 2016 matches:

RUSSIA v SLOVAKIA

Kick-off: 2pm

Venue: Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille

TV: BBC 1

Before all the crowd disturbance that earned a suspended disqualification, Russia were outplayed for 90 minutes at the Stade Velodrome, rarely looking like they would be able to break England down.

So when Eric Dier opened the scoring that should have been that, but a last-gasp header from skipper Vasili Berezutski was enough to earn a draw, and means a win over Slovakia in Lille would all but secure last 16 football.

If Russia enjoyed good fortune in their opener, the same was not true of Slovakia, who went down 2-1 to Wales in an entertaining game in Bordeaux.

Hal Robson-Kanu's scuffed effort proved to be the winner, but the Slovaks showed enough to indicate they could yet get out of the group.

Teams

Russia came away from that draw with England with no injury concerns, but Leonid Slutsky needs to decide whether he needs to make any changes to his starting lineup that struggled for much of the game.

According to Berezutski the Russians will be more attacking against Slovakia, but it’s not yet clear whether Slutsky will also make personnel changes.

One possibility would be to start Roman Shirokov in midfield after he made an impact off the bench, while Denis Glushakov could come in for youngster Aleksandr Golovin.

For Jan Kozak there has been some concern over the fitness of defender Tomas Hubocan, who has been struggling with a foot injury and tooth pain.

Hubocan is expected to be fit though, while sub Ondrej Duda, who scored immediately after coming on against Wales could come into the starting XI.

Whatever happens, Kozak revealed in his press conference that he will be making changes from the team that lost to Wales.

Ones to Watch

Russia: Vasili Berezutski

The Russian veteran was seen as a liability in some corners ahead of the start of the tournament, but despite England’s dominance in possession, he did a reasonable job slowing down Harry Kane.

It will be a different task against Slovakia, where Adam Nemec and Michal Duris provide a different threat.

If he can also provide another goal in what was a sterile Russian attack, that would come in useful.

"It is good that we managed to level it up at the end," he said. "You could say this draw was like a victory.

"We earned a point and it's very good that we've managed to start the tournament with a point on the board. It would be more difficult otherwise. But I am not a saviour and one point does not really mean that much."

Slovakia: Robert Mak

Marek Hamsik takes all the headlines, but it was teammate Robert Mak who made the difference against Wales, setting up Duda for the equalizer.

The right-sided midfielder was quiet in the first half, but really came into his own in the second creating one goal with a powerful run, before a second such effort almost ended in a Slovakian lead as they enjoyed a purple patch.

He will need to do similar against Russia, and is well aware that Slovakia are nearing the last-chance saloon in France.

"There are still two games for us to come," he said. "That's six points to play for. The chance is still there. We have to beat Russia."

Head to head record

The two teams have met on nine occasions, with Russia winning three to Slovakia's two.

They have not been particularly high-scoring games, with the Russians managing ten goals, to Slovakia’s seven.

Slovakia have scored just once in their last four games against Russia.

Did you know?

Slovakia have not lost back-to-back games since October 2013.

ROMANIA v SWITZERLAND

Kick-off: 17.00

Parc des Princes, Paris

TV: ITV1

Romania came very close to frustrating France and spoiling the opening party of Euro 2016, but Dimitri Payet had other ideas.

Switzerland, meanwhile, got off to a winning start, but were made to work very hard by a ten-man Albanian team.

With that in mind, the pressure is on Romania to pick up something from this one to stay in contention for a spot in the last 16.

The Swiss, meanwhile, can take all the pressure off with a victory at the Parc des Princes before their group finale against Les Bleus.

Teams

Romania are sweating on the fitness of Steliano Filip, who was not involved against the French.

Other than that, Anghel Iordanescu has a full squad to select from, however if Filip does come through, he could start in place of veteran Razvan Rat at full-back.

With Xherdan Shaqiri one of the main Swiss threats, the youthful exuberance of 22-year-old Filip could be useful for the Romanians.

Meanwhile Switzerland could well stick with the same team that saw off Albania, even if they did not have it all their own way, although there must be some temptation to start Breel Embolo after he impressed off the bench.

Vladimir Petkovic expects a tough test from the Romanians though and has called on his players to raise their level.

Ones to Watch

Romania: Dragos Grigore

Romania conceded just two goals in the whole of their qualifying campaign, but France managed that in 90 minutes at the Stade de France.

With that in mind, centre-back Dragos Grigore knows that his team will have to improve at the back, and he will play a key role.

The 29-year-old spent last season playing in France with Toulouse, before heading off to play in Qatar this season.

And while he is desperate for a win against the Swiss, he underlined the fact that there could still be a reprieve with a final group game against Albania.

He said: "The match with Switzerland is important, but do not think it is decisive. We will enter the field thinking to win this game. We know it will be difficult but at the end of the match I hope we can enjoy.

"Of course, in the next period after the game, you remember every phase of the game, but trying to move on as quickly as possible. Unfortunately we did not put up any points."

Switzerland: Valon Behrami

Valon Behrami was a doubt for the opening game against Albania but came through and impressed in that clash.

The experienced midfielder will have the chance to run the show against the Romanians, as he takes his place in the centre of the park.

Now 31, Behrami has played in a number of Europe's major leagues, currently in England with Watford.

And he expects the Swiss firepower up front to tell.

He said: "Up front we have more talented players than the Romanians and that's a great quality for us. It will be a difficult game for us but we know what to expect from Romania. We know what we have to do."

Head to head record

The two teams have met on 12 previous occasions with five wins each. They have only met once at a major tournament, the 1994 World Cup where Switzerland won 4-1. Romania went onto reach the semi-finals in that tournament, and also won the last meeting between the teams, in 2012.

Did you know?

Switzerland have never won two group games at the European Championships, and will look to make history in Paris.

FRANCE v ALBANIA

Kick-off: 20.00

Stade Velodrome, Marseille

TV: ITV1

Dimitri Payet saved the day against Romania but France will need to improve if they are to live up to their status as pre-tournament favourites.

Romania managed to frustrate them, and Albania will likely do the same in Marseille as they look to bounce back from an opening defeat to Switzerland.

Lack of goals was an issue for Albania in qualifying and they will have to put that right if they want to get out of the group on their Euro debut.

Teams

Didier Deschamps has some interesting decisions to make with superstars Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann both disappointing on the opening night.

Deschamps wasn't afraid to substitute them during the game, bringing on young guns Anthony Martial and Kingsley Coman, but it would be a surprise for them to drop to the bench for the second game.

Elsewhere Patrice Evra's struggles could mean a change at left-back, but Deschamps has shown enormous faith in the Juventus man and it would probably take another poor performance for Lucas Digne to come in.

For Albania the major blow is the absence of captain Lorik Cana, suspended after his red card against Switzerland. It's a real shame for Cana, who has played much of his career in France.

In his absence, Arlind Ajeti or Frederic Veseli will probably come into the side.

Ones to Watch

France: Dimitri Payet

The star of the opening night, West Ham playmaker Payet was brilliant against Romania, making the opening goal for Olivier Giroud before his winner late on.

While his time in blue has not always run smoothly, it was telling that Deschamps placed his faith in Payet late on, removing the more high-profile Pogba and Griezmann.

With his set-piece ability and vision, as well as the ability to score from distance, Payet will be crucial to France's chances.

Deschamps said of him after that win: "Payet made the difference. He's an attacking player but he's also someone who helps out the team.

"It's quite easy in football when you can bang it in the top corner - it solves quite a lot of problems!"

Albania: Elseid Hysaj

Napoli full-back Elseid Hysaj is one member of the Albania team with plenty of pedigree, and his experience, despite his young age, will be crucial against France.

Les Bleus were at their most dangerous when they moved the ball out wide, and with Coman and Martial waiting, there will be a lot of pressure on Hysaj to keep the wingers quiet.

The 22-year-old is taking it in his stride though and doing everything he can to improve.

He said: "I take everything I do seriously. I practise hard and work hard. I study my game and work on my mistakes. I want to get better."

Head to head record

France won the first four meetings between the two teams, but have failed to win either of the last two fixtures between the sides.

Albania have scored three goals in total against France in six encounters.

Did you know?

France and Albania met twice in friendlies ahead of the tournament. The first game in Rennes was a draw before Albania pulled off a shock 1-0 victory in the return fixture.