Russia will be looking to justify their tag as genuine contenders for Euro 2012 glory this summer when they take on co-hosts Poland on Tuesday evening, in a game which could see the Russians become the first team to qualify for the knockout stages of the tournament.
Fresh from defeating Czech Republic 4-1 in their opening game, Dick Advocaat’s side have won a lot of fans for their clinical, positive and generally effective approach to the match.
- BEST BET : Get on Russia to continue their fine form and dipose of the hosts at decent price of 6/4 with Paddy Power – They looked an assured and confident unit and should have too much firepower going forward for the Poles to cope with.
In fact, because of their performance on Friday evening, they are now being tipped by many to go a long way in this tournament. Their odds to win the whole thing have even been shortened to 10/1 with some bookies.
There is certainly no doubt that not many teams will be looking forward to playing them right now, especially in conditions and surroundings that clearly suit them.
One thing they do need to be careful of is peaking too early. There is often a team that starts superbly but fades away, Russia will be determined to avoid such an outcome.
As for Poland, they will still be reeling from the 1-1 draw with Greece on Friday night. It was an up and down game for them and one which had the whole nation talking football afterwards.
On the positive side, Robert Lewandoski got himself off the mark early on and Poland’s general attacking play was good.
When it came down to it though, they couldn’t quite hold out for the win and in the end they were lucky not to lose the game. If they are to beat Russia, they need a better all round performance, no doubt about that.
Looking at the odds, Russia are predictably the favourites at 11/8, while Poland are 5/2 to send the home fans away happy. The draw – which wouldn’t be ideal for either side – is then available at 23/10.
Overall, with Russia likely to attack in the early stages and Poland looking to take the game to their opponents in front of an expectant crowd, it should be quite the contest.