ENGLAND begin their bid for Euro 2016 glory tomorrow night – but the Three Lions won’t be roared on by everyone on the south coast.
Two women from Portsmouth are hoping it’s a miserable night for Roy Hodgson’s men as they take on their native Russia.
Iulia Colesnicova, who works at Portsmouth English Language School in Southsea, says she’ll be rooting for Russia in the match in Marseille, France.
The 34-year-old is from the western city of Perm but has lived in North End for the past six months.
And there is added importance on a personal level for Russia to get off to a flier for the tournament in France.
Iulia said: ‘I will definitely be watching the game tomorrow night, however I will be cheering on Russia.
‘My boyfriend is English and will be supporting England, so I’m hoping that we don’t fall out after the game!
‘I think that I’ll be one of the few around here who is not going to be supporting England.
‘Maybe if Russia get knocked out then I’ll support them, but for now I’ll be backing Russia.’
Iulia is hosting a party for the opening group B game which kicks off at 8pm.
She added: ‘Most of my friends are English so it might just be me and my son supporting Russia on the weekend.’
Iulia’s son, Egor, is a football fan and is confident of a Russian victory in the Stade Velodrome.
The 16-year-old said: ‘Hopefully Russia can win tomorrow and then qualify out of the group stages.
‘It will be a difficult match but we can win.’
Iulia will be backed up by her work colleague Yulia Aleksikova.
The 30-year-old, who is originally from near the Russian capital Moscow, said: ‘I’m not really a massive football fan but I will definitely be getting behind my country this weekend.’
Yulia has lived in Southsea with her husband for the past year, but they will not be supporting the same team tomorrow night.
She added: ‘We’ll be watching the game together at home, so it might get a bit interesting depending on how the game goes.’
DAVID JAMES ON EURO 2016
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