Russia could be one of the dark horses of the tournament as their name rises to the top
when looking at group A. Having largely impressed at the Euro 2008, when they reached semi-finals, it’s understandable the Russians have big ambitious for the tournament in Poland and Ukraine. Dick Advocaat’s side were pretty convincing in the qualifiers, beating the likes of Republic of Ireland, Armenia and Slovakia to finish at the top of the group, losing just one game and conceding four goals in the process. Russia arrive to the tournament following a magnificent 3-0 victory over Italy that saw them extend their unbeaten run to 14 games.
Czech Republic had a tougher time qualifying for the Euro 2012, and they were close to losing second place in their qualifying group to Scotland. Coach Michal Bilek will look to rally the troops and get them fired up for their opening game, which could be decisive to team’s chances of making it to the quarter-finals. The Czech’s will be relieved that playmaker Tomas Rosicky has overcome any injury concerns prior to the tournament and should start in behind the striker. Striker Milan Baros, however, does have a muscular problem, but he has been declared fit for the opening game.
Their recent form and the fact they’ve kept a clean sheet in 6 of their last 7 matches in EURO Cup goes to show you the Russians are more than capable of winning this one.