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Lille quiet as Russia, England fans arrive for Euro games

By Philip O'Connor

LILLE, France (Reuters) - Soccer fans arriving at Lille railway station on Tuesday were greeted by the usual deployment of armed soldiers, but there was no initial sign of the unrest that blighted Russia's game against England in Marseille on Saturday.

Lille is seen as the next potential Euro 2016 trouble spot as Russia play Slovakia there on Wednesday, and England fans will also congregate in the northern French city ahead of their match against Wales in nearby Lens on Thursday.

Both teams have been threatened with expulsion from the competition if the violence seen in Marseille is repeated. UEFA fined the Russian Football Federation and gave it a "suspended disqualification" for attacks inside the stadium on Saturday.

A lunchtime downpour in Lille appeared to have dampened the spirits of visiting fans, and there were few football shirts to be seen on the streets.

Locals did not seem too concerned about the prospect of rival fans clashing in the city centre.

"Absolutely not," bartender Nicolas told Reuters when asked if he was worried about violence, saying that he did not even expect that many fans to visit.

"I think we could have fighting, maybe. Sometimes we get football fans coming here, but not too many," he said as he served lunchtime guests in a bar near the train station.

(Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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