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Poland Euro Cup Betting Prediction – Poles Could Steal Group, Which Would Be Huge Accomplishment

Posted by Todd Shale on 5/15/2012 2:59:07 PM

Online betting sharps know how important homefield advantage is in soccer, and Poland may be able to ride that to a group win at the European Championship as they co-host the tournament with the Ukraine. They probably won’t go much further, but after qualifying for the first time in 2008, winning the group would be massive for this young and improving side.

Manager: Franciszek Smuda (since October 2009)
Best Euro Finish: Group stage (2008)
Soccer Betting Odds: +300 to win Group A, +5000 to win Euro 2012

Offense

Poland didn’t have to play any qualification matches as the co-hosts of this tournament, but that doesn’t mean they sat back and waited for the best in Europe to come to them, playing 15 matches since February 2011 and they still have three left to go before the tournament starts. The offense is largely a two-man show between forward Robert Lewandowski and midfielder Jakub Blaszczykowski, who has captained the side since November 2010. The pair recently led Borussia Dortmund to the Bundesliga title, as well as the DFB-Pokal final, which is the first time that Dortmund has ever done the cup-league double and they’re looking to bring that success to the national team. Lewandowski is just 23 and won the Bundesliga’s Player of the Year award, while Blaszczykowski, who also goes by “Kuba”, is just 26 and should be the spine of the Polish side for years to come.

But who scores if they can’t find the back of the net? Pawel Brozek is the next best option up front, while Waldemar Sobota is an interesting option for the midfield if he is named to the team. Outside of their Dortmund duo, the White and Reds don’t have a lot going on for attacking players, so they’ll need someone to step up and support Blaszczykowski and Lewandowski.

Defense

This is where the Poles’ soccer betting chances really lie because of their attacking deficiencies and they can’t afford to allow many goals or else they’ll be out in the group stages. It appears as though Wojciech Szczesny has not only taken the No.1 goalkeeper spot from Arsenal teammate Lukasz Fabianski at their club, but also for their country and the 22-year-old doesn’t plan on letting it go anytime soon. His father, Maciej, also tended goal for the Poles, and Szczesny would love to lead his country to the next level. In terms of experience, Marcin Wasilewski, Jakub Wawrzyniak, Tomas Jodlowiec and Lukas Piszczek have the most among the defenders, and Piszczek may be the most important out of these four as he is another Dortmund player who is used to playing in front of big crowds, so he’ll be able to use the experience from this season to help his teammates deal with the pressure of being a co-host in Europe’s biggest tournament.

There isn’t a lot of depth at the back, so the Poles can’t afford many injuries, if any, alongside their back line. Szczesny has looked shaky at times for Arsenal behind a suspect and injury-prone defense, but he has also carried the team to a couple of wins when they didn’t deserve. The man between the sticks may just end up being the key to Poland’s chances this summer.

Intangibles

Smuda has been working with this team for almost three years now and know which players are going to perform under the bright lights of a tournament such as the European Championship. Being a defender during his playing days, Smuda is going to focus on the back of the team because as was mentioned before, if Poland leaks in that area, they’re going to be a world of trouble. They have also played some big-name sides while getting ready for this tournament, such as France, Argentina, Mexico and Germany, and have held their own, but those were in friendlies when teams were likely toying with formations and combinations. Smuda will have a much tougher task on his hands at the Euros.

How It Will Play Out

Soccer betting odds have Poland at +300 to win Group A, which includes Russia, the Czech Republic and Greece, and +5000 to win the tournament. Winning it all may be a bit ambitious for Poland, who only qualified for the European Championship for the first time in 2008 and fell out of the group stages, but with the home crowd behind, they could stun a few experts.

In any other group, Poland would probably have no chance, but in this group, with a few breaks the Poles can definitely get to the next stage of the tournament. If their defense can hold up, they can keep the opposition at bay and their offense will be bolstered by the Dortmund duo that had so much success during the regular season. When it comes to the championship, avoid their odds, but in terms of a group win, lay a little on Poland’s Euro Cup betting odds in 2012.


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