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Russia to face France in Paris as part of Euro 2016 preparations

Russia to face France in Paris as part of Euro 2016 preparations
Russia will play Lithuania, France, the Czech Republic, and Serbia as part of their preparations for the upcoming UEFA Euro 2016 tournament.

Russia will host Lithuania at the Otkritie Arena in Moscow on March 26, before traveling to Paris to take on France three days later. They will play at the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis on the northern outskirts of the French capital – one of the places terrorists targeted during the November attacks in Paris.

READ MORE: Over 150 killed as Paris rocked by coordinated shootings, explosions

Friendlies against the Czech and Serbian teams are scheduled for June 1 and 5 respectively, with full details of those games yet to be announced.

Euro 2016 will be held in France between June 10 and July 10 with matches to be played across a number of major cities including Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux and Marseille.

This year's tournament features 24 nations for the very first time, with the teams split into six groups. Russia is in Group B alongside England, Slovakia and Wales.

Leonid Slutsky was appointed as national team boss in August 2015, following the dismissal of Fabio Capello.

The Russian sparked an instant improvement in the team's fortunes, winning games against Sweden, Liechtenstein, Moldova and Montenegro to secure second place and automatic qualification from their group.

Russia have reached the last three UEFA Euro Championships, making the semi-final stage in 2008, and previously won the competition on French soil back in 1960 (playing as part of the USSR).

The 2012 tournament in Poland and Ukraine saw Russia make a solid start to the tournament, with victory against the Czech Republic and a draw against Poland putting them on the verge of reaching the next stage.

However, their hopes were dashed in the final group stage match against Greece, as Giorgos Karagounis' goal on the stroke of half-time sent the Greeks through at Russia's expense.

Russia kick off their Euro 2016 against England at the Stade Velodrome in Marseilles on June 11, starting at 21:00 local time.