Generally regarded as the weakest and most open group at Euro 2012, Group A’s second fixture on Friday shouldn’t pose too many punters with problems when trying to find a bet. Group favourites Russia should be too good for a Czech side that lacks attacking flair and looks ponderous in defence.
Defender Michal Kadlec topped the Czech scoring charts in qualifying to outline their problems finding the back of the net and with Milan Baros out-of-form, Russia shouldn’t be too concerned about a Czech side springing an opening day shock. And neither should you. While the odds-against 23/20 with Bet Victor on a Russian win looks surprisingly good, be bold and take the 9/4 on Russia winning to nil with Sky Bet or Ladbrokes.
Russia lost just once in 10 qualifiers to top Group B, conceding just four times (two of which came in the same game) and squad’s packed with defensive discipline and experienced survivors from the Russian side that reached the semi-finals four years ago. As well as goalscoring issues, the Czechs held one of the worst qualifying records of any side reaching the finals which makes a punt on Russia winning to nil all the more enticing.
Trends to keep an eye on –
- Czech Republic have won only two of 13 internationals against Russia
- Czech Republic averaged just 1.5 goals-per-game in qualifiers – a third of their goals coming in a single game against Lithuania
- On a points-per-game basis, the Czechs were the 18th best team in qualification – behind Armenia, Hungary, Bosnia and Norway – all failed to make the finals.