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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Euro 2012 - Group A Betting Preview

Euro 2012 - Group A - Betting Preview

Poland are the "seeded" team in Group A, and so all six matches will be played in Poland, with 3 matches in the Municipal Stadium in Wroclaw, and 3 games in the National Stadium in Warsaw.

Poland; 66/1 for tournament, 11/4 to win Group and 5/6 to qualify

Arsenal’s Wojciech Szcesny kept Ronaldo and Nani at bay in the co-hosts 0-0 draw at the end of February in the first game played at the new National Stadium in Warsaw. Poland have only competed in one previous European Championship and will be looking to break their duck when they entertain Greece in Warsaw on June 8th.

Poland coach Franciszek Smuda was the first coach to name his provisional squad for Euro 2012 a 26-man party which features a trio from dual-Bundesliga Champions and double winners Borussia Dortmund in Lukascz Piszcek, Jakub Blaszczykowski and Robert Lewandowski. The latter pair scored all four goals in their recent 4-0 win over Freiburg which gave Dortmund a record number of points for one season in the Bundesliga.

Russia: 22/1 for Tournament, 6/4 to win Group and 2/5 to qualify

Russia won this tournament in the inaugural European Championships back in 1960, and Russia also did well 4 years ago in 2008 when they were beaten semi-finalists; Fulham’s Pavel Pogrebnyak, former Chelsea midfielder Yuri Zhirkov, ex Gooner Andriy Arshavin, and recent Spurs departure Roman Pavlyuchenko will be familiar names to followers of the Premier League.

Coach Dick Advocaat will leave his position after the finals to return to PSV Eindhoven rejoining the Club 14 years after his first spell in charge. Finished top of a Group that included the Republic of Ireland in qualification, but it lacked strength in depth; beat fellow 2012 Finalists Denmark 2-0 in Copenhagen at the end of February.

Czech Republic; 66/1 for Tournament, 7/2 to win Group and 5/4 to qualify

Czechoslovakia were winners of the 1976 Championship in Belgrade on penalties from holders West Germany and have never been beaten in three penalty shoot-outs including the 1996 semi finals against France.

The Czech Republic finished runner up to Spain in qualification and then readily disposed of Montenegro, who had finished runner up to England, in the play-offs winning both games (2-0, 1-0). Chelsea’s Peter Cech and Arsenal’s Tomas Rosicky are key members of an experienced side who had their limitations, seemingly exposed by the holders in the group stages.

Greece: 80/1 for tournament, 4/1 to win Group and 5/4 to qualify

Greece caused a huge shock when beating hosts Portugal in Lisbon back in the 2004 Final; will meet Russia for the 3rd successive finals tournament in Warsaw having lost out in both 2004 & 2008. The 2-1 defeat in Faro was their sole defeat suffered in six games en route to the title.

Finished top of an ordinary Group F in qualification where their strength was a mean defence conceding only five goals in ten internationals although they have subsequently failed to win any of their three friendlies including a 1-1 home draw with Russia back in November.

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All odds are taken from BetVictor as at May 23rd.

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