Euro 2012: Predicting Every Game in Group A

Michael Cummings@MikeCummings37World Football Lead WriterMay 21, 2012

Euro 2012: Predicting Every Game in Group A

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    Who will advance from Euro 2012's Group A? Glad you asked.

    As the countdown to Euro 2012 reaches its final days, pundits everywhere will be predicting it all, from the group stage to the knockout stages to the final itself.

    Today here at B/R, we've predicted every Group A match for you, complete with scores and scorers—and what it will mean in the bigger picture.

    Ready? Thought so. Let's go.

Poland vs. Greece

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    When: June 8

    Where: National Stadium, Warsaw

    Prediction: In the opening match of the tournament, co-hosts Poland will burst out of the gates with passion and energy.

    With Borussia Dortmund teammates Jakub Blaszczykowski and Robert Lewandowski leading the attack, the Poles will storm into the lead, with Celtic flop Pawel Brozek (pictured) scoring the first goal of the tournament.

    The lead will hold until late in the second half, and national excitement will build, until Brozek's Celtic teammate Georgios Samaras equalizes for Greece.

    The match ends in a 1-1 draw, which satisfies neither team. The nation of Poland, though, maintains hope.

    For now.

Russia vs. Czech Republic

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    When: June 8

    Where: Municipal Stadium, Wroclaw

    Prediction: Russia will be expected to progress through the group stage, and after beating the Czechs in their opening match, Russia will find themselves in pole position in Group A.

    Despite failing to impress at Arsenal this past season, captain Andrei Arshavin (pictured) will inspire the Russian attack with young gun Alan Dzagoev impressing in a playmaker role.

    Tottenham outcast Roman Pavlyuchenko will open the scoring for Russia in the first half, and Arshavin will seal a 2-0 with a trademark dribble and goal.

    Russia thus storms to the top of the table while the Czechs fall to the cellar.

Greece vs. Czech Republic

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    When: June 12

    Where: Municipal Stadium, Wroclaw

    Prediction: Needing a win to claw their way back into contention, the Czechs will attack from the start.

    Greece will be forced to defend, and they will defend resolutely. Bayer Leverkusen defender Michal Kadlec (pictured) will venture forward to score the decisive goal in the second half, broken nose and all.

    With the 1-0 victory, the Czechs will be putting themselves right back into contention. Greece, meanwhile, will need a win in their final match.

Poland vs. Russia

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    When: June 12

    Where: National Stadium, Warsaw

    Prediction: National pride will still shine, but this time it won't be enough against the group favorites.

    Once again, Dzagoev will impress for the Russians. This time, however, Pavel Pogrebnyak will score a brace to give Russia another 2-0 win—and a spot in the knockout stages.

    Poland will thus need to win their final match to reach the quarters.

Czech Republic vs. Poland

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    When: June 16

    Where: Municipal Stadium, Wroclaw

    Prediction: Poland will need a result, and they'll attack. The Czechs will only need to avoid a loss, so they'll also attack—especially if they fall behind.

    In other words, this could be an exciting match.

    Lewandowski and Brozek will score for Poland, but old man Milan Baros and older man Tomas Rosicky (pictured) will score despite a leg injury to give the Czechs a 2-2 draw.

    The results will send the Czech Republic into the quarterfinals as runners-up. Poland will be elminated.

Greece vs. Russia

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    When: June 16

    Where: National Stadium, Warsaw

    Prediction: Knowing a victory could send them to the knockout stages, the Greeks will attack from the opening whistle.

    With both matches kicking off simultaneously, Russia will not know whether or not they'll need another point to finish as group winners.

    Russia will open the scoring in the first half, with Dzagoev (pictured) finally scoring the goal his form deserves.

    Greece will then attack for the rest of the match and claim a late equalizer through Theofanis Gekas.

    It won't be enough, though. Greece will be eliminated as the Russians are crowned group winners.

Group A Table

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    Here's my projected final table for Group A.

    Russia would advance as group winners, and the Czech Republic as runners-up.

    Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts
    Russia 3 2 1 0 5 1 4 7
    Czech Republic 3 1 1 1 3 4 -1 4

    Greece

    3 0 2 1 2 3 -1 2
    Poland 3 0 2 1 3 5 -2 2

    Note: If two or more teams finish level on points, the first tiebreaker is the number of points gained in matches between only those teams. The second tiebreaker is goal difference, then goals scored, among matches between those teams.

    Finally, the last tiebreaker is overall goal difference.

    Thus, because I have predicted a 1-1 draw between Greece and Poland, Greece would finish third by virtue of a superior goal difference.

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