Group A of Euro 2012 continues on June 12th, with Poland playing host to Russia in the National Stadium, Warsaw. Poland dropped points against the 10 men of Greece in their opener, while Russia humbled the Czech republic to take the early initiative in the group. Which way will this one go?
Over 5.5 Yellow cards 11/4 @ bwin
Euro 2012 Form
Everything was going to plan for Poland on the opening day. Greece were a shambles at the back and Robert Lewandowski took advantage to put the co-hosts one up. The Greeks were then reduced to 10 and a home win looked a foregone conclusion. Things imploded rapidly however, and the resulting 1-1 draw, and loss of Wojciech Szczesny, gives Poland much to ponder.
Russia, by way of contrast, thumped the Czech Republic 4-1, despite some poor finishing from Aleksandr Kerzhakov. Favourites to win the group before a ball was kicked, the Russians now have one foot in the quarter finals.
Poland v Russia History
While Russia are favourites to win, Poland have been focussing on this match for some time. Indeed, Poland and Borussia Dortmund midfielder, Blaszczykowski, was keen to stress prior to the Greece game, that his team mates should not be looking beyond their Group A opener, saying there was a risk his squad were already contemplating facing up to Russia. There is history between the teams, and history between the countries, and it is this animosity that could lead to a spiteful game. Wolfgang Stark is the German referee who will take charge on June 12th and there is enough evidence to suggest bwin’s odds of 11/4 on 6 or more bookings might be too big.
Stark has dished out 6 or more bookings in 4 of his 10 UEFA fixtures during the 2011/12 season (Champions League, Europa Cup and Euro 2012 qualifiers). If the German referee decides to stamp some early authority on the game, and in so doing, sets a low bench mark for bookings, the yellow count could be high. With the clash being a grudge match too, there is enough to think that those odds offer a bit of value.
Euro 2012 tip
With a hostile home crowd behind them, a fired up Poland could well overstep the mark and if the game gets nasty, bookings will inevitably follow. 11/4 (bwin) on 6 or more cards being shown by Wolfgang Stark offers value given the atmosphere heading into the match, and Stark’s record this season.