Poland will kick off the 2012 European Championships at home on June 8 when they take on Greece in a Group A match in Warsaw, and this will be the first test for all Euro Cup betting fans. Poland will have a few things going for them since they’ve beaten the Greeks 10 out of 15 meetings and they’ll be playing in front of their home fans. Poland has also managed to win four out of the past five games against Greece and are unbeaten against them in their last half a dozen meetings.
Their last contest was back in March of 2011 and it ended in a 0-0 draw in Poland. The Poles have also outscored Greece 29 to 11 over those past 15 games. However, the last time they met in a competitive game, which was back in 1987, Greece were 1-0 winners at home in Athens in a Euro 1988 qualifier. In addition, Greece hasn’t won a game in Poland as of yet, with eight straight losses and have been outscored 22- to 4.
Odds and Predictions
We can see a match with few goals to start the tournament, draw is likely and 1-1 at 6/1 (7.00) is something for the gambler. Under 2.5 seems likely as well but only gives 4/9 (1.44) in odds so requires more risk.
Greece on Unbeaten Streak
Greece enters the tournament after going on a 10-game unbeaten streak in competitive international matches with seven wins and three draws in their qualifying games. Poland manager Michal Probierz didn’t need to worry about qualifying since the country qualified automatically along with Ukraine as the co-host nations of Euro 2012.
Poland has played in just one European Championship in the past and didn’t manage to win a game back in 2008. They lost two and drew one, meaning they didn’t qualify past the group stage. They have had more success on the world stage and have played in seven World Cups.
Greece’s last competitive loss came at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, when Argentina beat them 2-0. Greece was even worse than Poland at Euro 2008 and lost all three of their group games. This was a huge letdown considering Greece won Euro 2004 in Portugal by beating the host team 1-0 in the Final.
If Poland is to have a chance at winning this or any other game, then Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczęsny will have to play a lot better for his country than he did for his club team this year. His save percentage was just over 60 per cent in the English Premier League, which was fourth worse in the table. He may not be called upon too often against Greece though, since the team is usually worried about defence before offense.
Poland will have to take advantage of Greece’s lack of creativity and should force the action whenever possible. If the Greeks do manage to launch a counterattack then Szczesny is going to have to come up big. If he can produce the big saves when needed and Poland can take advantage of their scoring chances then the home side should be able to get off to a good start at Euro 2012 by grabbing all three points in their opening match. Greece is an awkward side to play against on most occasions though and if they manage to get a lead they can be very hard to come back against.
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