Tuesday June 12th marks the 5th match day of this year’s Euros and this particular matchup looks to be an exciting and quite important one. Russia opened up play with a convincing 4-1 victory over the Czech Republic while Poland, who looked incredibly impressive, was only able to manage a 1-1 draw against Greece in the tournament’s opening match. While Poland looked a lot better than almost everyone anticipated, they showed off a weakness in that they simply could not seem to find the finishing touch in front of net. At halftime Poland was up 1-0, but the way the game panned out they could have easily been up 2 or 3 goals. Russia was dominant in their opening match from the initial kickoff and they didn’t look back once.
With their second match on the horizon, Russia is already sitting pretty in that they have 3 out of a possible 3 points and are +3 on goal differential. Alan Dzagoev scored 2 goals in last Friday’s group A game and that makes him the leading scorer of the whole tournament in these early stages. Most people knew that Russia was a solid squad, but 4 goals solid? Not many people saw that coming, especially against a Czech side who many thought would finish second, if not first, in the group. Andrei Arshavin is a player that will have the spotlight on him tomorrow as he really failed to make a huge impact on the first game. The Russians are without a doubt, on paper, a better team, but the fact that they are sitting atop the group on points, and have a fairly respectable goal differential, may lead to their demise. The Russians really have to avoid resting on their laurels and come out firing in game 2 just like they did in game 1.
Poland, on the other hand is also a squad that can be content with their opening match day result. They battled Greece to a 1-1 draw that very easily could have been a 2-1 or 3-1 win for the Poles. The attack for Poland looked very good fronted by Robert Lewandowski who put the home crowd in to a frenzy just 17 minutes into the opening match. One huge factor that mustn’t be overlooked is the fact that goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny earned himself a red card in the opening match and will have to miss the next 2 games. This may not be as big of a deciding factor as many think because the Pole’s backup goalkeeper, Przemyslaw Tyton looked good in his brief spell in the second half, including a blocked penalty kick that completely turned the game around for Poland.
Bovada.lv currently has Poland as the underdog as they currently sit at +210 on the moneyline. Russia, the favorite, is at +125 on the moneyline and a draw is currently sitting at +225.
In my honest opinion, I think that the Russians may step out on the pitch for this game and their mind will be elsewhere. They are already thinking that they are through to the knockout stages and it is that kind of mindset that will be the death of them. Poland will be coming out on their home turf in front of the home crowd and will look to take advantage of it just like they did in game 1. I personally expect either a 1-1 or 2-2 draw because if Poland slots one home first, the Russians will be keen to attack the rest of the day.
Pick = POLAND/RUSSIA DRAW (+225)