Russia beginning to look more like Group A winners at Euro 2012

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Russia would appear the strongest of the four sides in Group A on paper and their Euro 2012 odds of 11/8 to progress to the quarter finals as group winners now looks an even better price after their friendly draw with Uruguay.

Uruguay are currently positioned in third spot in the world rankings following their victory in the last Copa America and they brought a strong squad for the friendly as it was their final warm up before a World Cup qualifier with Venezuela.

The fact that Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani led the line showed Uruguay’s intent and this strike pairing is far more formidable than anything Russia will face in Group A.

However, Russia claimed a useful 1-1 draw against a team that recently beat Italy in Rome and will now head to Switzerland to continue their preparations.

With Group A without a European heavyweight and Russia looking the strongest, there is a big opportunity for one of their strikers to contend for the Euro 2012 Golden Boot.

But with Aleksandr Kerzhakov, Pavel Pogrebnyak and Roman Pavlyuchenko all fighting over one spot, it is hard to know who is the first choice of Dick Advocaat.

Pogrebnyak got the nod against Uruguay, but it was substitute Kerzhakov who grabbed the goal and he featured more than his rivals in the qualification for Euro 2012.

Furthermore, with all three strikers being of a relatively similar standard, Advocaat may decide to pick Kerzhakov based on the understanding he has with attacking midfielder Roman Shirokov from club level at Zenit.

It is 1/1 in the Euro 2012 odds that Russia win their opening Group A game with Czech Republic and 50/1 that Kerkhakov ends the tournament with the Golden Boot.

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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.