Euro 2012 kicks off with a huge match for hosts Poland, as they take on former European Champions Greece in the National Stadium of Warsaw.
In the build-up to the first game of this year’s European Championships, the betting for the Poland v Greece has swung on a number of occasions. When the draw was announced and the fixtures were set for each group, Greece were the odds on favourites to pick up a win in this intriguing first encounter of the tournament.
However, over the last number of weeks, the betting has swung in favour of the Poles, with Poland now available at odds of 11/10, the draw 11/5 while Greece are available at 13/5.
Many would shirk the thoughts of backing Poland, a side who have very little competitive action over the last year. However, what the hosts lack in preparation for the tournament, will surely be replaced by the home support in the Warsaw on this momentous stadium. Despite only being involved in friendly action, the Poles have been convincing with a number of good performances against Hungary, Belarus, Bosnia and probably the biggest eye opener was a draw against European giants Portugal.
Many would argue that these friendly matches hold no real value in the overall scheme of a competitive tournament like Euro 2012 but a record of just one defeat in nine friendly matches is a good record no matter what the status of the games.
The European Championships haven’t exactly been a happy stomping ground for Poland! They’ve only every qualified for the tournament on one occasion which was back in 2008, when the managed to collect just one point after an impressive 1-1 draw with minnows Austria.
Greece on the other hand have overachieved on European level in recent times, when they picked up the European title on Portugese soil in 2004. The brand of football played by the Greeks in that tournament didn’t exactly wow the world of onlooking football fans but it’s results that matters and that’s what Greece deliver in this historic tournament.
Once again they have been impressive in their qualification for Euro 2012, having topped Group F taking seven wins from ten games along the way. Their defence is the focal point of this Greek side in keeping with their annual tradition and being able to boast the concession of just five goals during qualifying, the Greeks certainly won’t be the whipping boys of this tournament.
Both sides have some quality running through their starting eleven an d with the likes of Arsenal’s Wojciech Szczesny bolstering the Polish defence, the hosts are sure to compete with any opposition put in front of them. As well as experience at the back, Poland can boast a number of players who ply their trade in the Budesliga such as Lewandowski and Blaszczykowski who are sure to cause some headaches for a well organized Greek defence.
Admittedly, Greece have strength and depth in defence but I’m not overly convinced that they can threaten at the other end of the field. Celtic striker Giorgos Samaras is the number one candidate to lead the Greek attack and he’s been a player who splits many opinions. My thoughts on the bearded attacker is that it would be more suited to the lower divisions of the nPower league.
Don’t expect too many goals for this encounter, although excitement and atmosphere at the Warsaw Stadium will reach fever pitch for this match. With two very defensively minded teams going head-to-head it’s an obvious statement to say that Under 1.5 goals at 6/5 offers decent value. If you’re looking for a little more edge that those odds that why not try Greece to win with a clean sheet which could can back at odds of 19/5 on Boylesports.com