Saturday, 16 June 2012

Group A - Russia v Greece; Poland v Czech Rep

Pre-match Predictions : Group A comes to an end tonight & all four teams still have a chance of qualification.

The team in the best position is Russia who only need a point to qualify & a win to go through as Group winners. The Russians have looked impressive so far with Andrei Arshavin & Alan Dzagoev looking particularly impressive. If Russia could get more out of their central striker, Aleksandr Kerzhakov they would be a match for any team in the competition.

The Russians opponents tonight, Greece, have had a very poor tournament so far but if they could pick up a win tonight they will be in the Quarter-Finals.

So far they have shown very little except for a decent second half showing against Poland and even then it could be argued that Poland imploded.

On the results & performances so far all signs point to a Russian victory but with football being football nothing can be guaranteed but I would be very surprised if the Quarter-Finals kick off and Russia aren't involved.

The other game tonight is between co-hosts Poland and the Czech Republic. The equation is simple, Poland win they are through, Czech Republic win and they are through. If the game is a draw both could be out depending on if Greece beat Russia or not.

Poland have had two solid draws so far. They do look quite limited apart from the Dortmund pairing. If Lewandowski & Blaszczykowski can get involved in the game then Poland can win. They will have huge support & sometimes that can give you an extra edge. A tournament always has a better atmosphere when the hosts are involved so it would be nice to see them or Ukraine get beyond the group stage.

Czech Rep have been up & down in their two games so far. They were well beaten by Russia although they did have some positive moments in that game despite the scoreline. Against Greece they got off to a flying start & were 2-0 up inside a few minutes. They looked fairly comfortable but yet again Petr Cech looked poor & let the ball slip past him to set up the grandstand finish. Luckily for Cech they hang on for the win.

I think this game will be tight & can see it being a draw entering the last 15/20 minutes. The Poles will no doubt throw all they have at the Czech Rep & I have a funny feeling they might just nick it.

Russia 2-0 Greece

Poland 2-1 Czech Rep

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