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Greece v Russia Euro 2012 Preview & Tips
Group A cellar dwellers Greece take on first placers Russia on June 16, Saturday. The game in Warsaw drops its curtains when the clock strikes 19:45 GMT.
It’s good-news-bad-news for Greece – the good news, aside from Sokratis Papastathopoulos Being back from suspension, is that they still have a chance of making it to the knockout stages if they win this one against Russia (with an imposing goal difference too, like 2-0 or 3-0) while Czech Republic and Poland draw. The bad news is that they will be playing Russia on the last day of the group stages; the Russians are considered to be the best team in the group at the moment and even before the tournament started.
Even more bad news is the fact that in the last two Euros – including in 2004 when Greece turned out to be champions – the Ethniki have not beaten Russia. Rewriting history nowadays is a tough task and if the Greeks want to make a good name for themselves once again, then it has to start in this game.
Greece’s loss to Czech Republic last game was apparent before the game was even 10 minutes old. It wasn’t the two goals that killed, it was the fact that the quick-fire Czech double was scored in the third and sixth minutes. This clearly dampened the team’s spirits, and even though they pulled one back in the second half, it was all too late for them.
The Russians are just a point away from the knockout stages. A loss here however could be drastic and horrendous especially if the final score strips them off their superior +3 goal difference although this is subject to the results of the Poland v Czech Republic match-up. All things constant, Russia has one foot in the next phase of the tournament already and they could seal the deal at the expense of the misfiring Greeks.
Alan Dzagoev scored again in the game against Poland; the young playmaker has now three goals in two games and is leading the race for the pichichi alongside Germany’s Mario Gomez. Still the man-of-the-match award goes to Andrey Arshavin. The former Arsenal man has three assists in two games, providing that spark of creativity for his teammates to latch on. Arhsavin has been Russia’s main man in the last two games, and against Greece, he might as well become one of the breakout performers this year.
Greece v Russia Betting Preview
Year 2004 is so long ago that you wouldn’t count on Greece to make a dramatic break for the knockout round of this year’s Euro. Russia is looking formidable from the back to the frontline, and Greece is yet to impress in this tournament. It’s been a disappointing two weeks for the Greeks and the duo of Arshavin and Dzagoev is threatening to end their misery with a bang; Russia is favourite to take this game.
Verdict: Russia 2, Greece 0.
Tip: Russia is at a humble 1.72 to win – take it, it’s the closest thing to “sure”. A 2-0 scoreline is at 8.00, while at 3-0, the rewards are abounding at 13.00. The game could go over 2.50 goals however, given Russia’s sharpness up front and the Greek tragedy in the back. Such eventuality is at 1.95.
Surely lightning cant strike twice but it can hit the back of the net thrice; Alan Dzagoev is at 2.50 to score in three straight games. Andrey Arshavin has been a consistent provider so far in the tourney but he could finally get a go at goal and score one. He is at 3.10 to score a goal in this game anytime.
All odds are from Bet365.com (£200 FREE BET!).