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Group A preview: Russia too strong for Poland

by Josh Powell | June 12, 2012

By Josh Powell | Paddy Power sports writer

Group A betting preview: Russia v Poland Tuesday, 7.45 (ITV 1 and RTE2)

The Lowdown

It’s a rivalry up there with the Manchester Derby and the El Clasico for passion and history. This east European derby between Poland and Russia is going to be fiery and has the potential to get uglier than Adrian Chiles.

Russia got their campaign off to a blinding start, tearing Czech Republic apart in a 4-1 hammering. They looked impressive and played some classy stuff for long periods. Admittedly the Czech Republic were shoddy and when you solely rely on Milan Baros you haven’t got much hope, but Russia were still well worth the win.

Co-hosts Poland played a cracking opening 45 minutes against Greece but then appeared to get pretty knackered and almost fell apart in the second half. Robert Lewandowski proved all those youtube videos right by playing well and knocking in a goal, before Wojciech Szczesney got himself sent off. Przemyslaw Tyton came on and saved the penno in a 1-1 draw and it will be his responsibility to keep the Russians at bay tonight.

Match Bet

Russia are by far the best team in Group A and should have too much for Poland in the National Stadium. Dick Advocaat’s side are unbeaten in 15 games and will have too much class in the final third tonight. Poland can take all the inspiration they want from the home crowd in Warsaw but that won’t help them improve their defending. At 11/8 with Paddy Power Russia are a great bet to make it two wins out of two and secure qualification.

A correct score stab in the dark

If you saw the Russians going forward and how the Poles defended in the opening game you’d say this could turn into a goal extravaganza. Poland will pose a threat in attack but Russia will be too strong. Russia to win 3-1 at 20/1 looks a tasty price for punters, or if you fancy being more boring sensible, it’s 11/4 for four goals or more.

An outrageous goalscorer bet

Aleksandr Kerzhakov had seven shots off target against Czech Republic which is a record for any player in a European Championship match. Not even Emile Heskey has had that many off target in a game. Therefore he’s probably going to bag a couple against Poland and play a blinder. He’s 13/2 to score first or 17/1 to score two or more which is bound to happen after his debacle in front of goal last week.

Something a bit random

This is going to get tasty in the middle of the park. Fans of shin-crunching tackles and stray elbows settle down for what could be a classic. The atmosphere will be heated off the pitch and players will be launching full-blooded into tackles. A sending off in the game is 5/2 or both teams to lose a man is 25/1. A smarter bet might be the 11/1 of a red card in the first half. This match will be aggressive from the off and it would be no surprise to see the referee brandish red before the break.

Robbie Fowler says

This game will be tougher for Russia than the Czech Republic game. Poland have a bit  more in their locker but Russia have some stand out players. It certainly looks good for Russia, their performance in their first game was the best we’ve seen so far in the tournament

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