5pm – Poland v Greece – 2.04  – Circumstances will play a big part in this Euro opener. Firstly we have a Euro Opener, and it includes one of the hosts. Ergo, the suggestion is that said home team has distinct advantages here.

Let’s see if any research can unearth certain “characteristics” about both sides which may give us an angle in.

Poland have had a reasonable campaign in all competitions since October 2010, playing 22 matches and only losing 3 of those matches, against Lithuania away (2-0), France at home, 0-1, and italy at home 0-2.

A recent win 4-0 v Andorra was an obvious break with a general unders trend for the majority of their matches. 5 consecutive clean sheets for the Poles include an eyecatching 0-0 v Portugal recently. They have played less lights around Europe in recent friendlies. The clean sheets are something we can take out of these recent matches, albeit friendlies.

The last 3 matches in the 2008 euros saw Poland lose 2-0 to Germany (20th and 72nd minute goals), draw 1-1 v Austria (Austrian 90th minute equaliser), and lose 1-0 to Croatia (53rd minute goal).

The fact all bar one of the goals were conceded in the 2nd half , coupled with 5 recent clean sheets, should tell us that Poland will be tough to beat, but may not actually win!

I acknowledge that there are team personnel changes.

The only recent defeats at home in all competitions was against France and Italy. A suggestion therefore that the cream of Europe can win, but Poland will be competitive against the lesser lights.

NATIONAL CHARACTERISTICS? Would seem to be a strong defensive bent hinting at unders, 0-0 back to lay, and more goals in 2nd half. Have practiced successfully keeping clean sheets in friendlies and only lost at home recently against Italy and France.

Do note there were no wins in Euro 2008, and all 3 matches were unders.

NOTE – Poland qualified automatically as hosts. They are a largely young team (you can list positives and negatives from this!)

A 0-0 v Greece in a recent friendly is horribly ominous for this opening match.


Kneejerk – dour defensive dross.

Another interesting recent form line. Only 1 defeat in 21 matches was a 1-3 recent defeat in a friendly against Romania.

Greece have scored in all of their last 9 matches. On the occasions they scored 2 goals to win in the Euro qualifiers, they scored their goals after the 70th minute. Greece have scored first in last 3 matches.

12 of Greece’s last 15 matches have seen under 2.5 goals – I suppose they can’t afford goals!!

One of the overs was v Malta, which was obvious really.

2008 saw Greece lose all of their Euro matches 2-0 v Sweden (all goals after 67th minute), Russia 1-0 (33rd minute winner), and 2-1 v Spain (note Spanish 2nd goal was after the 88th minute).

Greece’s last 7 matches in the Euros has seen no draws, 4 1-0 score lines,2 2-1’s and a 2-0.

Greece have not lost any of their last 9 away matches, although calling them an away team in a Euro tournament is a little misleading.

GREECE CHARACTERISTIC – seems to be under 2.5 goals, and most likely there will be late goals than early goals (indeed if any). A 1-0 back of both teams when Greece play might be the best tradable option.

THIS MATCH – it looks like a snooze fest all the way. It is likely to be a defensive tussle between 2 teams confident in their defenses. Will we get mileage out of a 0-0 back pre-match? Maybe a back of 1-0 Poland/1-0 Greece might see some price movement.

Any value bets for me may include laying the 0-0 if it is 0-0 up to the 70th minute in this match.