by Tom Allen
Having both failed in their respective opening matches this is a must-win
clash for Greece and Czech Republic in Group A and I see there being goals when
the pair square-up in Warsaw.
The Greeks opened Euro 2012 when they took on co-hosts Poland and it was a
game full of incident.
They would have been happy with their 1-1 draw, having fallen behind and also
been reduced to ten men, but veteran Giorgos Karagounis missed a glorious chance
from the penalty spot to claim maximum points in the second half for Greece and
it could prove a decisive moment.
Both Greece and Poland looked well below the required standard to be
competitive in the finals and I was particularly disappointed with Fernando
Santos' side who were exposed with fair regularity even by mediocre opponents.
It could also prove to be a point well gained for Greece but with the
impressive Russians still to come Santos will know that a win on Tuesday is
required if they are to maintain realistic hopes of a place in the last eight
and I expect them to go for it.
Russia have been all the rage in the outright market following their 4-1
thrashing of Czech Republic but, while they deserved their triumph, I think
there has been an overreaction.
Now no bigger than 12/1 to lift the trophy, Dick Advocaat's men were probably
slightly flattered by the score line and all is not lost for Czech Republic just
When Vaclav Pilar pulled a goal back to make it 2-1 in Wroclaw, the Czechs
sensed they might get something out of the contest but they were sliced open
twice after and look extremely suspect to defensively to me.
Spearheaded by Milan Baros, they actually showed more than I anticipated in
attack and are sure to cause Greece problems, fragile themselves at the back, if
they see enough of the ball in midfield.
Group A has probably witnessed the two most open matches of the finals to
date and I think it more likely than not that both sides will find the net.
The bookies disagree, making it an 11/10 chance, and that price will do for
The Czechs shade favouritism in the match odds market, no bigger than 6/4,
but I'm loath to put my faith, or cash, in either at present and the selection
looks the best value on offer from the host of betting opportunities available.
2pts Back Both Team To Score (Greece vs. Czech Republic) @ 11/10 (Blue
Square, 188 Bet)