Euro 2012 Betting Preview – Greece v Russia

June 16th, 2012 | Posted by in Euro 2012

Below we have previews of the 2nd week of Euro 2012 where some important games will be played to see who will progress to the next round thanks to our friends at Sportingbet Australia. This Preview by GMorgan for the game Greece v Russia. Check out all the Euro 2012 betting odds from a number of European, Australian and International online sports books.

Group A

Greece v Russia – National Stadium, Warsaw – Saturday 16th June 2012
Greece vs Russia – Comparison Betting Odds

If there is one country that has genuine cause to feel hard done by at Euro 2012, it is undoubtedly Greece. Two awful refereeing decisions saw them reduced to ten men in the opening game against Poland, they have lost several key players to injury and had a perfectly good goal against the Czech Republic incorrectly ruled out for off-side.

Throw in the fact that they now have to beat group leaders Russia to stand any chance of making the last eight and it’s hard not to feel some sympathy for Fernando Santos’ side.

They do have one or two reasons to be cheerful, however, namely the return from suspension of defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos and the fact that they have displayed an impressive never-say-die attitude in both of their group games to date.

And with a victory essential to avoid an early return to Athens, Santos will surely have to consider starting Fanis Gekas rather than employing him as an impact substitute as he did against the Czech Republic.

The 32-year-old veteran may only be fit enough to manage an hour of the game, but he remains Greece’s sole genuine goal threat and the Russians will be far warier of the Samsunspor man than of Georgios Samaras whose two performances thus far have simply confirmed that he is out of his depth at this level.

A starting place may also be handed to diminutive midfielder Giannis Fetfatzidis who is yet to feature in the tournament but whose skill and pace out wide could seriously ruffle Russian feathers, provided his team-mates can get the ball to him in dangerous areas.

In goal, meanwhile, Santos may well persevere with Michalis Sifakis even though he failed to impress after replacing the injured Kostas Chalkias against the Czechs, but talented Palermo shot-stopper Alexandros Tzorvas is also available and is not without a chance of claiming the gloves.

Russia, meanwhile, have proved to be something of an enigma so far, hugely-impressive in both their 4-1 demolition of the Czech Republic and the first-half of their clash with Poland, but decidedly below-par in the second period of that draw with the co-hosts in Warsaw.

And no single player have personified that dramatic variance in performance level than midfield kingpin Andrey Arshavin. Much of the former Arsenal man’s approach play has been scintillating, but his final ball delivery against Poland was simply appalling, as was his point-blank refusal to help out defensively when his side were under the pump.

Fortunately for the Russians, they have been able to turn to rising star Alan Dzagoev whose three goals and superb overall performances have arguably made him the player of the tournament so far.

Happy to both drift out wide and drop deep and blessed with the uncanny ability to time his runs into the box with split-second precision, the CSKA Moscow man has more than lived up to the pre-Championship hype that surrounded him and will surely be the subject of interest for a host of top Spanish, Italian and English sides later this summer.

The same cannot be said, however, of striker Aleksandr Kerzhakov who missed a host of gilt-edged chances against both the Czechs and the Poles and will almost certainly be replaced by former Tottenham man Roman Pavlyuchenko come Saturday evening.

At the other end of the field, meanwhile, outgoing coach Dick Advocaat will have been delighted by the form of Vyacheslav Malafeev who has been one of the stand-out ‘keepers of the tournament thus far.

On the evidence of their previous two games, Russia shouldn’t have too many problems opening up a Greek defence which has been decimated by injury and suspension. Without the rock-solid foundation that served them so well during qualification and indeed during their shock Euro 2004 triumph, the men in blue and white have found the going tough and while they clearly aren’t lacking in character and resolve, they don’t appear to possess the level of creativity needed to down a side of Russia’s calibre.

The jury is still out on whether Russia are a serious chance of winning this tournament, but they should take all three points on offer in Warsaw this weekend and none of their prospective opponents in Group B will be exactly jumping with joy at the prospect of facing them in the Quarter Finals.

Prediction: Greece 0-2 Russia

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