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It’s time to start making predictions for the group stages, and on Friday June 8th, 2012, the Euro 2012 tournament kicks off with the matches in Group A.

Group A consists of the following 4 teams (FIFA World Rankings are in brackets):

This group is one of the most evenly matched groups of the tournament. For some reason the results of these tournaments never seem to follow the FIFA rankings! Let’s look at things a bit closer.

The Czech Republic used to be an up and coming squad a few years back, but they have done little to impress as of late. They barely finished 2nd in their weak qualifying group, and only had a goal differential of 4. They don’t seem to have what it takes.

Greece had a strong qualifying round, finishing at the top of a relatively weak group. This team seems to have trouble scoring goals though, and they lack an identity. Are they an attacking team? No. Are they a defending team? No. They give the impression of being middle of the road in all categories. They don’t impress either (that world ranking of 14th seems a bit inflated).

Poland are the hosts, and did not have to qualify for the tournament. The only real data we have to look at are their international friendlies, and the performance of their individual players in club matches. As a team, they have played decently in friendlies against some good teams (Portugal, Germany, Italy) and either won the games or kept them within reach). Poland appears to be strong defensively, but could lack scoring ability. Can Robert Lewandowski change that?

Russia seems to be the strongest team on paper. They had a strong qualifying round as well, finishing first in their group. They have the talents of Arshavin and Pavlyuchenko on their side, as well as other names that the other teams in this group fail to match.

Group A Prediction:

  1. Russia (7 pts)
  2. Poland (5 pts)
  3. Greece (2 pts)
  4. Czech Republic (1 pt)

Russia are definitely the favourites to win, and we are banking on Poland to keep all of their games close, and get a spark from their home crowd.

Let us know your thoughts in our poll and comment section!