A festive mood set the tone in Warsaw for a crucial Russia-Greece Euro 2012 face off Saturday, just four days after a Poland-Russia match in the city was marred by the worst fan violence of the championships.
Over 20,000 Russian football supporters were expected in the Polish capital's National Stadium, along with 4,000 Greeks and 30,000 Poles, according to Polish Euro 2012 officials.
Elimination jitters mixed with joy rippled through the streets, stadium and fanzones before the match to decide which one of the two Group A countries would secure a spot in the quarter-finals of the 16-nation football showcase co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine.
Group leaders Russia only need a draw while Greece need nothing short of a win.
UEFA President Michel Platini, appealed Saturday "to all fans heading to Warsaw or Wroclaw" for the decisive Group A matches to "behave with dignity and respect and show exemplary behavior in the stadia and city streets".
"No incidents to report to date. It's completely calm," Warsaw police spokesman Maciej Karczynski told AFP.
Touting their red, white and blue national flags, Russian fans in party mode flocked toward the Warsaw stadium, happily posing for snap-shots with police officers and convinced of their team's victory.
"We'll win 1-0 against Russia and Poland will defeat the Czechs 2-1," predicted Petros, who had just arrived from Athens. Those outcomes would allow Greece and Poland to continue into the quarter-finals.
"Russia will win 5-0!" said Vetcheslav Matveenko, surrounded by four friends decked out Russia's colours.
"No problems today. The mood is as it should be. Tuesday, it was Polish and Russian hooligans who sparked the brawls. Police calmed them down. We're normal fans, we get along well with Poles and Czechs," he added.
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko and President Vladimir Putin's advisor Mikhail Fedotov were expected to watch the Russia-Greece match from the stadium stands Saturday.
Police arrested nearly 200 people following violence in Warsaw on Tuesday that left 20-some people hurt.
Polish courts have already sentenced most of those detained the clashes with punishments ranging from fines to suspended sentences and jail time.