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Euro 2012’s First Game is Here

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Greece plays Poland after qualifying first in their group with a total of 24 points.  In second place, in that same group, is Croatia.  Israel, Latvia, Georgia and Malta round out the rest of this group (Malta only got 1 point in the entire qualifying round).  You can’t really call that a high difficulty group, which is why Greece is not a major favorite for this Cup. They qualified to the Euro with a total of 14 goals scored and only 5 goals against.

Greece is no stranger to Euro Cup glory…they raised the Cup as champions back in 2004 when the Euro was hosted by Portugal.  They won the first game to Portugal, but then began to struggle.  With a good amount of effort and a hint of luck, they managed to squeeze their way into the finals against their host, Portugal.  They surprised all of Europe with a glorious win over the host country.

Then we have Poland – since they are hosts, they didn’t have to play during the qualifying round. Some argue this helps the hosting teams because it allows them to play stress free.  Others affirm that all the practice against tough teams is what makes a winning team.   Relaxed or not, they played some friendly matches with no losses.  The last match was played against Andorra; they beat them 4-0.  Before the match with Andorra in May, they played Slovakia and also beat them 1-0.  The most difficult friendly match they’ve had recently was in February against Portugal with a final score of 0-0.

I can’t really pick a favorite on this match.  None of them are really in the spotlight right now when it comes to playing skills.  It is important to remember that Poland will be at home as they are co-hosts with the Ukraine for this Euro, with the opening game played in Warsaw.  They will have the crowd cheering which will add that extra pressure to play a good game and give this inaugural game crowd the show they deserve.

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