Greece v Russia: Fast start can help Russians secure top spot

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Nothing seen at Euro 2012 so far suggests that Russia will not beat Greece at 4/6, but it may pay to be slightly more risky to take advantage of beneficial longer odds.

Like Ireland in Group C, Greece have been slow starters in their opening two games, conceding after just 17 minutes against Poland in the first fixture of the tournament and then finding themselves 2-0 down against the Czech Republic after just six minutes.

Russia have looked one of the most threatening teams at Euro 2012 thus far from an attacking perspective and may also be able to capitalise on any early openings they are presented.

Greece’s defence may be helped by the return of Sokratis Papastathopoulos from suspension, but as they need a victory to have any chance of qualification to the knockout rounds, more space could be available in their final third.

Also in Russia’s favour is that they have triumphed in all four of their encounters with Greece in the European Championships, included successes in the group stages at both Euro 2004 and Euro 2008.

Greece are 4/1 to beat Russia, but they have looked relatively limited in their two outings so far and it would be a shock if they suddenly found some form here.

A draw at 11/4 is possible, especially as this is all Russia need to progress from the group.

However, a draw would not guarantee Russia as group winners, which is what they would prefer, and will confirm Greece’s exit.

Alan Dzagoev has scored the first goal for Russia against both the Czech Republic and Poland and can be backed 6/1 to do so again.

But lone striker Aleksandr Kerzhakov has found himself in some good positions in these games and may be a better option to improve on his wastefulness against the Greeks at 5/1.

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Craig Kemp
Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.