Russia are favourites to defend their title at the Blind Football European Championships which begin tomorrow in Rome.
The Russians beat Spain on penalties after the 2017 final in Berlin and have been placed in Group B in the Italian capital.
They will meet France, England, Germany and Greece at the Italian Paralympics Preparation Center.
Hosts Italy have been placed in Group A and will face 2015 winners Turkey, Spain, Belgium and Romania in the opening stage.
Blind football is a five-a-side sport, with the top two sides from each group in Rome reaching the semi-finals.
This year's tournament, organised by the International Blind Sports Federation, has added importance as the two finalists will qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Russia will open the defence of their title tomorrow against the French, with the 2017 bronze medallists England meeting Germany elsewhere in Group A.
Hosts Italy will play the first game of the tournament against Turkey in Group B, where Spain will meet Belgium.