Euro 2012 betting action gets started on Friday afternoon in Poland, as the hosts of this tournament Poland takes on Greece.
Team Poland has the worst FIFA world ranking of all of the teams here in Euro 2012, but with home field advantage, virtually anything could happen. It is going to be a big time match for Wojciech Szczesny, the Polish net minder. He has played in some huge fixtures early in his career for Arsenal, but this is the first time that he is going to be representing his country on this type of a stage. He is considered one of the best young net minders in the world, and he is going to have to be a huge pillar in the pipes for his team to get the job done. Offensively, Robert Lewandowski is also going to be making his debut here on the big time stage. He has played in 42 games for his country and has already scored 14 goals to lead the team. That being said, again this is a big spot for the Borussia Dortmund striker, and though he has played well on the local stage, this is the first time that he will be in the national spotlight in his own country.
The Greeks were the heroes of this tournament eight years ago. They came out of nowhere to win Euro 2004, and it was a complete shock for it to happen. Needless to say, the Greek soccer confederation hasn’t really had all that much more to smile about since then. The Greeks haven’t made it into the knockout rounds of any major tournament, and they haven’t even qualified for all of the tourneys either. This is the easiest group that Greece has been a part of for quite some time. Goal scoring tends to be a problem for this team, but ultimately, this was a squad that killed some of the giants in the game eight years ago in a ton of 1-0 fashions. It wouldn’t even be the first time that we have seen this happen in a major tournament, as the Japanese women’s team won the World Cup last year by playing a defensive brand of shut down soccer. Do keep an eye on Giorgios Karagounis, who was the man that scored the one goal in the Euro 2004 final, and he is going to be counted upon to find the back of the net for an offensively challenged team in this entire tournament.
The Final Word: In the end, we just don’t know if the Greeks or the Poles are going to be able to do all that much offensively. We think that this is going to be a lackluster start to this tournament, and in the end, there might not be any goals to go around.
Poland vs. Greece Prediction: Poland 0 – Greece 0
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.