First, the history: in Warsaw you could be forgiven for thinking that Poland's army is going into battle with near neighbours Russia. Local papers have gone to town with references to their victorious 1920 battle against the Bolshevik Army, fuelling simmering nationalist sentiments ahead of this 'eastern European derby'.
The highly-charged match also falls on Russia Day, a national holiday, and some Russian fans plan to march from the city centre to the stadium - potentially provocative.
But the football should prove entertainment enough. Co-hosts Poland brought the tournament quickly to life with a thrilling attacking display in the first-half of their dramatic opener against Greece, which finished 1-1.
Lukasz Piszczek - a former striker who only converted to full back two years ago - ran riot down the right, but his influence waned and star striker Robert Lewandowski, a team-mate at German champions Borussia Dortmund, was unable to make his dangerous presence felt as keenly as the match collapsed into attrition.
So the key question for Poland: can they reignite the heady waves of forward movement that threatened to overwhelm the Greeks at one points? And finish their chances.
They might need to if they want to stay alive in the tournament. Russia looked superb in their opener, getting stronger as the game went on and eventually pummelling the Czech Republic 4-1. Unbeaten in 15 matches, Dick Advocaat's side looked settled and strong: they also have a some stardust.
Arsenal fans will not have recognised Andrey Arshavin, orchestrator-in-chief, while young CSKA Moscow midfielder Alan Dzagoev lived up to the hype surrounding him with two goals. Roman Shirokov continued the form that helped make Zenit St Petersburg the Russian champions while Tottenham old boy Roman Pavyluchenko was cool and clinical when he replaced wasteful Aleksandr Kerzhakov.
Though the Russians have an array of attacking options, the proud Poles are certainly tough to break down - they kept five clean sheets prior to the draw with Greece. This could, no should, be tasty.