Group A Betting Preview: Poland v Czech Republic Saturday 7.45pm BBC1
The group is finely poised with all four teams still in with a shot of progressing. However there is no combination of results which will see both Poland and the Czech Republic move on to the quarter-finals. It’s one of those winner takes all situations except a draw should be enough to see the Czechs through.
There isn’t a lot of playing history between these two nations for various reasons we here on the Paddy Power Blog aren’t qualified to get in to but they did face off in the qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup. They both won their home game and they both failed to qualify. Which isn’t very helpful.
At Euro 2012 so far, the Czech Republic were destroyed by Russia but bounced back with a deserved, if not always convincing, win over Greece. Poland have drawn twice but they should have beaten Greece in their opener and showed great spirit to come back against Russia. They could well have beaten them too.
The Czech Republic look a lot shakier, particularly Petr Cech (30) who has committed a few howlers already. They may have it in their minds that a draw will do which can prove dangerous. Poland look a mentally tougher side and they have to win. There is no other option. At 13/10 with Paddy Power they’re rightly the favourites to do it.
A correct score stab in the dark
Although it should be an exciting game it may not necessarily have a lot of goals in it. The Czech Republic’s defence looks like it will offer up more and better scoring opportunities than Poland’s which Robert Lewandowski (23) has the ability to take advantage of. At least a couple of them anyway. Neither side has a slew of top goalscorers so a 4-3 thriller seems unlikely. 2-1 to Poland at 8/1 looks about right.
An outrageous goalscorer bet
Lewandowski at 5/1 is the favourite so hardly an outrageous choice. Nor is Jakub Blaszczykowski (26) at 11/1, having scored the equaliser against Russia. Staying with Poland, Denis Perquis (28) scores the odd goal at club level and opened his international account when he scored against Slovakia back in May. He’s 33/1 to score first and 12/1 to score anytime.
Something a bit random
We’ve yet to see a penalty scored in this tournament but given the desperate nature of this game it’s as likely a candidate as any. It’s 2/1 with Paddy Power for a penalty to be awarded, 3/1 for a penalty to be scored and 9/1 for a penalty to be missed.