Euro 2012, Group A - Preview
|BettingExpert/Betfair Euro 2012 blog correspondent entry profile|
|Paul Florea is a freelance writer and has not only been involved in the world of football and betting but also the entertainment industry and human rights campaigns.|
|Website : PaulFlorea.info|
About 1 month separates us from the kickoff of the Euro 2012 but the fuss has already began. Not only in Poland and Ukraine , the co-hosts but everywhere in the world , from the Americas to Asia football lovers can't wait for Poland and Greece to open this tournament.
Group A brought together 4 teams with somewhat similar playing styles. Of course every team involved in this tournament has its very own pluses and minuses but looking at the bigger picture all teams in this group have a defensive playing style.
When comparing with other groups most punters see this one as having the most chances of ending up with the fewer amount of goals scored.
Under 2.5 goals will most likely be the favourite bet for all games in this group but unfortunately the odds will be adjusted properly by the bookmakers and we will likely see them going around somewhere between 1.6 - 1.7 while in the other groups could reach as high as 1.9.
Russia is one team that could kill this theory above. They have a legacy of not having a solid defense. Even if in the preliminaries they managed to keep it tight at the back, their opponents are the ones that can make the difference.
Keeper Akinfeev and just like brothers Beretzuski in the defense are prone to making mistakes. If the opponents will be able to exploit those errors could make all the difference. Russia has a solid group of players that know each other very well . They are playing together for a couple of years already under the helm of Advocaat and in this time we've seen very few additions to the team but none in the defensive compartment.
Russia has the lowest odds for advancing this group stage , around 1.4 . This can be a big mistake from bookies and odds already began to rise in some parts because of large amounts being placed on the other 3 candidates. The difference in quality in this group doesn't imply such small odds for one team to advance from group A . But low odds for one team means a huge odds for another.
That other team is Greece.
Few punters gave Greece chances of making it to the Euro. No matter the opponent Greece showed maybe the most consistent and professional play. They remained dedicated to their tactics and plan of attack . One of the most disciplined teams that made it to the Euro. Nobody denies that luck was on their side as well, but , like I always say , they made the luck happen.
What is interesting about Greece is that their youngest compartment is the defense . Usually it is the other way around . But for Greece having a young and dynamic defense means that they are able to cope with the pressure and resisting attacks the entire 90 minutes. Their style is well known : defensive approach almost all the time . Still they don't practice anti - football as we often hear nowadays when referring to defensive teams.
In offense they have the perfect mixture of experience and enthusiasm ( enthusiasm that is often a characteristic of youths ) . Greece manages to resist the pressure coming from most opponents , keep a clear head and stay true to their tactics. They are probably one of the most mature teams in Euro 2012. That's what should make them a clear candidate for qualifying from this group . Bookmakers however see them as underdogs and they are given the highest odd 2.5 for advancing. This is a bet that must be tried.
Poland is not going through one of their best moments right now. Many football lovers in Poland admit that this tournament will only add pressure on their team and pressure right now may be the last thing they need.
There are great names in the squad, players like Lewandowski or Obraniak for example but they are still far from being a group , far from finding themselves with their eyes closed.
The public will expect a lot from them being on home turf and that can mean disaster. The first game of the Euro will be Poland vs Greece . I already stated my opinion on Greece and how they should be favorites for advancing . The media in Poland will only focus on this tournament and a bad start in front of Greece (wrongly seen as an underdog) will create a bad state of mind for the polish players who will encounter the hungry russians in their 2nd game.
Qualification of Poland shouldn't be taken as granted only because they're hosts...
And finally we have the Czech Republic. Their game style is similar to Poland's but only that they won't have additional pressure on them.
Some of their players are well experienced and we are familiar with them for a lot of years already, players like Baros , Plasil , Rosicky or Hubschmann . They also have new additions that can make the difference : Pilar or Peckhart .
The Czechs also showed consistency in the preliminary round before reaching this group. If judging from a psychological point of view their play shouldn't change . They will be subjects to the same tension as all other teams ( except of course Ukraine and Poland ) . The players know each other well and they are more than eager to remind Europe of the great Czech team that made it to the semifinal in the 2004 tournament.
Bookies are offering us odds around 2.00 for the Czech republic to reach the next stage.
Greece to qualify + Czech Republic to qualify ( 2.50 X 2.00 ) - Odds 5.00
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