Russia look far superior to the Czech Republic and as good as the 21/10 looks that they triumph in their opening Group A showdown, it may pay to take a chance on Dick Advocaat’s team not only winning, but also doing so without conceding.
The current Russian team is a promising one and given the attacking talents of Andrei Arshavin and Alan Dzagoev, alongside the dangerous late runs of Roman Shirokov, they possess a far greater threat than the Czechs.
Milan Baros will be relied upon as the main striker and although he is a former Golden Boot winner at a European Championship, he is not the best suited to the lone frontman role.
Furthermore, creativity behind him is also low and the Czech’s will be heavily reliant on Tomas Rosicky to set the tempo and make things happen.
Nullifying Rosicky may be all it takes for Russia to gain dominance and they are not particularly generous in terms of allowing the opposition goals, conceding just two in their last 11 games.
This is helped by the understanding generated by three of the defensive line being teammates at CSKA Moscow, while all three central midfielders play for Zenit.
Such an understanding is not able to be gained at international training alone and so Russia could have a big advantage over many of their Euro 2012 rivals.
Russia’s recent draw with Uruguay and victory over Italy are further boosts to their chances.
Meanwhile, the Czech’s could only score 12 goals in their eight qualifying fixtures and had to rely on a penalty-taking defender to top their scoring charts.
But the Czech’s may be the idea of a good underdog to some at 11/4, while the 9/4 on the draw may also be popular based on the attitude that both teams may be more focused on avoiding defeat than winning.