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Russia Euro Cup Betting Prediction – Don’t Count Out The Russians At Euro 2012

Posted by Todd Shale on 5/22/2012 5:20:03 PM

Russia’s online betting odds should get a look as they should win their group at the European Championship, and after a third-place run in 2008, with a few breaks they can win it all…if they play hard for a manager they know is leaving as soon as the tournament is over.

Manager: Dick Advocaat (since July 2010)
Best Euro Finish: Champions (former Soviet Union, 1960)
Soccer Betting Odds: +140 to win Group A, +2000 to win Euro 2012

Offense

The Russians scored 17 goals as they rolled to the top of Group B in qualification, and the strike pairing of captain Andrei Arshavin and Roman Pavlyuchenko should remain intact for the team. Pavlyuchenko led all Russians with four goals in qualification and both seem to be playing with more confidence since leaving England as Arshavin is on loan at former club Zenit St. Petersburg from Arsenal, and Pavlyuchenko is now at Lokomotiv Moscow after floundering at Tottenham. These two are going to be crucial to Russia’s success as they have to put away the chances they are afford, and Alexander Kerzhakov should contribute off the bench as well.

But Alan Dzagoev and Denis Glushakov should also be a huge factor in Russia’s chances, especially Dzagoev, the 21-year-old who scored three goals for the team in 2011 and is coming into his own as an attacking midfielder. Glushakov is in the same boat at 25, and he may be battling Dzagoev for the same spot, which is tough as the younger Dzagoev is probably in pole position. Dzagoev is a creative and humble player who is always looking to get better and he has to support Arshavin and Pavlyuchenko consistently if the Russians are going to go for the upset.

Defense

This is where it gets tricky for the Russians as Vasali Berezutski is out of the team due to a thigh injury from which he figured he would be recovered from, but it was not to be and that robs Russia of one of their most experienced defenders. Of course, it opens the door for another player to contribute and that could be Berezutski’s twin brother Aleksei. He’ll likely join Sergei Ignashevich, Aleksandr Anyukov and Yuri Zhirkov at the back as there isn’t much experience at the back for Russia outside of those four. Also, don’t count out midfielders Igor Semshov and Konstantin Zyryanov to sit back and help out the back four because they’re going to need it, especially if they can get out of the group stages.

The Russians allowed four goals during qualification, but there is still a question of who will be No.1 keeper as Vyacheslav Malafeev played four games in goal in 2011, while Igor Akinfeev started two matches, but has more experience overall. Akinfeev was the goalkeeper for the team when they finished third at Euro 2008, but Malafeev may have a slight edge right now and that is going to be a major question for the Russians.

Intangibles

Advocaat will be leaving the Russian national setup for PSV Eindhoven, where he managed between 1995 and 1998, but he has done what he wanted to and was to get Russia back to a major tournament after they missed out on the World Cup in South Africa two years ago. This is simply what Advocaat does; he has been somewhat of a managerial nomad in his time, managing 13 different teams, including four different times with the Netherlands (where he is from, and on two of those occasions, he was an assistant), along with Belgium and South Korea. He doesn’t like to stay in one place for too long, but the team knew that going forward…or so you would think.

It’ll be interesting to see if the Russians will react to Advocaat’s style as they did in qualification because they have a great chance to do something special at this tournament.

How It Will Play Out

Russia has soccer betting odds of +140 to finish top of Group A, which also features the co-hosts from Poland, the Czech Republic and Greece, and they’re a decent +2000 to win the tournament. Of course, they finished third at Euro 2008 and they’ve had a long history of success at the European Championship.

They should be able to win their group as they are the most talented team in that group, but the defense will have to hold up without Berezutski. If they can get out of the group, anything can happen and you may be able to pad your Euro Cup betting account with Russia with a small wager.


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