By Paul Mallon | Paddy Power Blog editor
Group A betting preview: Czech Republic v Greece Tuesday, 5pm (ITV1 and RTE2)
Resilient Greece shocked many by drawing 1-1 with host nation Poland in their opening game. The Czech Republic shocked Robbie Fowler by being so poor against Russia, getting thumped 4-1 by Russia, who are much fancied by Paddy Power’s other tipster, Ruby Walsh. A defeat for Michal Bilek‘s side means they’re off home. But Greece manager Fernando Santos says he’s prepared for a backlash after the Czechs were totally outplayed by that impressive Russian side last Friday. Greece defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos (good luck with that shirt name on your back, kids) is suspended after his harsh sending-off against Poland in Warsaw, while Avraam Papadopoulos (ditto) suffered a torn cruciate ligament. Ouch.
Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech has warned the Greeks: “The anger of defeat has changed into determination. Determination to fix the bad start we had in the tournament.” Grrr.
The Czechs are favourites to win at around 7/5 in online betting with Paddy Power. Greece started the day at 11/5 with a draw also 11/5. In qualifying for Euro 2012, both sides managed similar goal counts with the Czechs on 15 and Greece on 14, in 10 games. (Holland, for example scored 37 times in their 10 qualifying games). The Czech Republic to win by exactly one goal stands at 11/4 if you fancy a conservative approach. Or, knowing the Czechs have to go for it, to win by exactly two goals is 6/1. Won’t be easy though.
A Correct Score stab in the dark
Few would have predicted the Czechs to collapse 4-1 to Russia while a 1-1 between Poland and Greece wasn’t exactly on the cards either. Their low-scoring qualifying campaigns should go out the window in this game. We’re thinking 2-1 to the Czech Republic which is available at around 9/1. Greece winning at half-time with the Czechs turning it around is a tempting (to us) 30/1. For more, click here.
A goalscorer bet to look out for
If the Czechs are to get anything from this they need Arsenal’s Tomas Rosicky in form. He’s scored 20 times for his country in 86 games and is 11/2 any time in online betting with Paddy Power. Wolfburg’s Vaclav Pilar who scored against Russia has been available at 14/1 to score first. For Greece, Celtic hitman Georgios Samaras is around 10/1 to score first and 4/1 any time.
Something a bit random
The Czechs to win to nil. That’s Chelsea giant Petr Cech keeping a clean sheet. Expect around 5/2.
Robbie Fowler says
The Czech Republic have been the worst team in the tournament so far. The way Greece finished against Poland makes me think they will come out on top.