Euro Group A Preview and Prediction
Group A has to be the weakest group with the teams of Russia, host Poland, Czech Republic, and Greece. Not only is Group A the weakest group in the competition, but it is also the most wide open, as any team has a solid chance to make it out.
Russia (2.55 at Bet365 ) has the best odds to win Group A, but they did not play great in the Euro qualifying stages. They may have to win the group with defense, as the Russians do not have a dynamic offense. They scored 17 goals in 9 qualifying matches, but 6 of those goals came in a 6-0 win over Andorra. Still, their D is solid and in those 9 qualifying matches they only gave up 4 goals.
Russia is full of technical players and for them to win the group they will need good showings from the Zenit St. Petersberg MF duo of Igor Denisov and Konstantin Zyryanov.
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Poland (3.65 at Bet365 ) is playing as the co-host with Ukraine, but all of their group matches will be held in Poland so they will have a home field advantage. The Poles were solid in qualifying and they played to great away draws facing Germany and Portugal. They have a solid defense led by Lukasz Pisczceck of Borussia Dortmund and they may need to win this group with their defense since they lack much offensive firepower.
In their last 9 friendly matches Poland has only scored 11 goals. Robert Lewandowski and Jakub Blaszczykowski are smart players on the ball and they will be counted on to play well for the host nation.
The Czech Republic (5.00 at Bet365 ) have the 3rd best odds and have the 3rd best ranking in the group according to FIFA. They have Petr Cech in goal and if he plays like he did for Chelsea in the Champions League title run the Czechs will be tough to beat. The squad also has a decent offense led by Tomas Necid from CSKA Moscow and offensive-minded MF in Tomas Rosicky from Arsenal. However, since they only use 1 player up front they have had trouble scoring against solid clubs.
Czech Republic is a squad that comes into the Euro with a head of steam, as in their last 8 matches they only lost once and that was to Spain, who won the last World Cup, the 2008 Euro Championship, and have the best betting odds to win this year.
Greece (5.75) shocked the world and won the 2004 Euro and can they do it again? Greece is led by their defense and they look to score off set pieces. They only gave up 5 goals in the Euro qualification and since Fernando Santos took over as head coach the Greeks have only lost 1 match.
Greece has a defense that is tough to break down and they will be more than happy to play to low scoring draws. Attacking MF Giannis Fetfatzidis is a wild card, as the young gun needs to give Greece some much-needed offense.
Prediction: I think this group will be determined by the Russia vs. Czech Republic match and while I think Russia will come out on top in the match and win the group the Czech Republic will advance to the knock out stage.
Here are the betting odds to win Group A at Bovada
Czech Republic 5.00
Group A Match Schedule
June 08- Poland vs. Greece
June 08- Russia vs. Czech Republic
June 12- Greece vs. Czech Republic
June 12- Poland vs. Russia
June 16- Greece vs. Russia
June 16- Czech Republic vs. Poland