Poland v Russia preview
Poland v Russia
19:45 - live on ITV1
The late game in group A sees the co hosts Poland take on Russia in Wroclaw. The Russians are 11/8 favourites following their 4-1 demolition job on the Czech Republic while the Poles are priced at 9/4 with the draw at 2/1.
The Poles will be eager to prove a point following their Jekyll and Hyde performance against Greece. They were excellent in the first half and only poor finishing stopped them from being more than 1-0 up against the lacklustre Greeks. The second half was a different matter entirely as they saw goalkeeper Szczesny see red as well as blow the lead en route to a point that should have been three. If the Poles play like they did in that first half they will be able to give Russia a game, anything else and they will be on the end of a thrashing.
There was plenty of positives that they can take though none more so that the play of main man Robert Lewandowski (6/1 First/Last, 7/4 Anytime). He was consistently a handful with his movement and is the one most likely to find a way through the Russian defence. The Poles have a vocal support on their own patch and they are certainly capable of getting something from this game, although a draw would seem to be the best shout if you fancy them.
The Russians were one of the most impressive teams to be in action in Euro 2012 to date as they pulled the Czech's apart en route to a 4-1 victory (a repeat scoreline is 50/1) and showed plenty of attacking intent. They will cause numerous problems with their strikers Alexander Kerzhakov (6/1 First/Last, 6/4 Anytime), Roman Pavlyuchenko (6/1 First/Last, 6/4 Anytime) while Alan Dzagoev (7/1 First/Last, 2/1 Anytime) and Andrei Arshavin (9/1 First/Last, 9/4 Anytime) coming from deep are just as dangerous.
The Russians have a major incentive to victory and that is it will guarantee qualification with a game to go and give them a chance to rotate ahead of the quarter-finals which would be of a major benefit. They do look susceptible at times at the back and this game has the potential to be another high scoring affair for the Russians and over 2.5 goals at 6/5 looks a cracking bet (8/13 under) and even over 3.5 goals at 10/3 is very tempting (under 1/5). Both teams to score can also be backed at 17/20 which I would have as my banker of the game.
There are another couple of markets that I would cast an eye over - total match corners, and the over 12 at 11/4. If this is as wide open as it could be then this should be excellent value. Poland should have the support again so I fancy them to make a good start before the extra talent of Russia sees them home and so a decent punt would be Russia to come from behind and win. It's also worth noting there was 2 red cards in Poland's opener and for there to be a red here could see you cashing in.
Both teams to score @ 17/20
Russia to come from behind and win
Worth a punt
Robert Lewandowski first scorer @ 6/1
over 3.5 goals at 10/3