by Tom Allen
A win on Saturday will send Poland into the last eight of Euro 2012 and I
think they'll get it against a pretty limited Czech Republic side.
Having imploded on opening night against Greece when in control, a goal and a
man to the good, Poland made it two draws in as many matches when holding Russia
last time out and they look a cut above their upcoming opponents.
The 1-1 stalemate with Greece ultimately now looks like a decent point
gained, they were hanging on at the end after the dismissal of goalkeeper
Wojciech Szczesny, and Poland will be pleased to have their destiny in their own
It's still any two from four in Group A but with Russia in command, and
playing winless Greece, this clash is surely winner-takes-all and there were
lots to be encouraged by in Poland's performance on Tuesday.
Having trailed to Alan Dzagoev's third strike of the finals, a brilliant
Jakub Blaszczykowski equaliser drew the co-hosts level and Poland were good
value for a share of the spoils at full-time.
Russia had impressed everybody in their 4-1 thrashing of the Czechs in the
first round of matches and Poland must take plenty of heart from the fact that
they were extremely competitive against Dick Advocaat's high-flyers.
I was willing to give Poland another chance in that fixture, suspecting they
may have suffered from opening night nerves, and so it proved.
They were fluent in attack, spearheaded by the excellent Robert Lewandowski,
and the Poles have created plenty of chances in their 180 minutes of football
played so far at Euro 2012.
Having been dismantled by the Russians it took some effort for Czech Republic
to blast out of the blocks versus Greece but they were 2-0 up inside six minutes
and that fast start secured all three points in spite of Theofanis Gekas' second
It was a win which put Michal Bilek's team in pole position to reach the
knockout stage and a draw will almost certainly see them advance.
However, playing for a point is a dangerous game and the hungry Poles are
tipped to make home advantage count.
2pts Back Poland (vs. Czech Republic) @ 5/4 (Bet