Euro 2012: Home advantage not enough for Poland
What makes this a deadly match up for Poland is the way that Russia play.
Russia have impressed Sean Calvert and will be too strong for Poland in their Euro 2012 match-up.
I really fancied Poland to qualify from Group A before the tournament, and that confidence looked justified after the first half an hour of their opening game against Greece.
The three Borussia Dortmund players were doing their thing, and the Poles looked dangerous and completely in control. They paid the price, though, for failing to put Greece away in that first half, and in many ways the sending off of Sokratis was the worst thing that could have happened to them. It seemed to galvanise Greece, and increased the pressure on the home team, who failed to respond.
I got Russia completely wrong, and was far more impressed by them against the Czechs than I could have imagined. Poland have won only one of their previous six competitive games against Russia and I don't see that changing here. The Poles could be heading for a final match against the Czechs, needing to win and hoping for help from elsewhere.
What makes this a deadly match up for Poland is the way that Russia play. The Poles aren't good defensively, and they were caught square on several occasions by a fairly immobile Greek midfield. And if the likes of Salpingidis can cause problems by his angles of running, then I worry just what Russia's pacy and accurate midfield will do. The excellent Michael Cox of Zonal Marking and of this parish pointed out the attacking threat of the two mobile midfielders, Dzagoev and Shirokov, before the tournament, and they look like they might make hay against Poland. I don't see how Poland can close down the space in which those two operate, and think that Poland could be overrun.
Russia are (2.42) to win the game, and that looks a little big, possibly because Poland's "home advantage" is a factor. It didn't look like an advantage against Greece, and Russia will revel in the pressure that's on the Poles.
I also think that over 2.5 goals is overpriced here, with (2.32) for two teams who looked dangerous in their first games worth supporting as well. Russia's qualifying statistics don't point to them being an "overs" team, but the likely way that this game will be played makes it a bet here.
Best Betfair Bet
Russia to beat Poland @ (2.42)
Recommended Betfair Bet
over 2.5 goals in Russia v Poland @(2.32)