Euro 2012 kicks off on Friday when co-hosts Poland take on Greece at Stadion Narodowy in Warsaw.
With home advantage on their side, Poland are the 91/100 favourites in bwin’s 3Way football betting market to get off to a winning start, while the draw is at 23/10 and Greece are rated as 13/4 outsiders.
The Poles will be relying on their talisman Robert Lewandowski, who was in fine fettle for Borussia Dortmund all season, and his performances this summer will dictate how Poland perform. He is 5/1 to get his country off to a flyer with the first goal of the match.
It is important to note from a betting perspective that Poland have not played a competitive match since October 2009, being confined to friendlies in their last 34 matches.
However, their recent form is impressive. They have won five of their last six matches and haven’t conceded a goal in their previous five outings, with their latest win being a 4-0 victory over minnows Andorra.
Greece somehow won Euro 2004 with a defensive side but were flops at Euro 2008, putting up a meek defence of their trophy by losing all three group games.
This time around they were impressive in qualifying from a weak group (with the exception of Croatia), but they still rarely venture forward en masse, so a low-scoring game here looks assured.
The Greeks have lost only once in their last 21 matches, but nine draws in that time (six 1-1 and three 0-0) show just how tight they keep things at the back.
Poland will have fervent backing and their fans will demand that they go on the attack, but that does not make a home victory a formality.
In fact, the last two host nations for the European Championships have lost their opening matches.
At Euro 2008, co-hosts Austria and Switzerland were both beaten 1-0 by Croatia and Czech Republic respectively, while four years earlier Portugal lost 2-1 against, ironically, Greece (who would also then see them off in the final).
It’s hard to say whether the 2012 Greek vintage are strong enough to deliver another shock win at odds of 13/4, but with picking the correct option in the 3Way market looking so tricky, punters should focus their attention elsewhere.
Under 2.5 goals to be scored is probably the safest bet on offer but odds of 11/25 are far too short, so a bet on under 1.5 goals at 27/20 could be the answer.
With all the hype surrounding Euro 2012 and the anticipation that has been building for months, it would be typical for this match to be a royal flop and one goal either way could well win it.
New customers joining bwin.com receive a free £25 bet and placing this on less than two goals to be scored in Poland v Greece would return £58.75 if successful.
For the more adventurous punter, a small alternative bet on the 0-0 draw at 19/4 could get your Euro 2012 betting campaign off to an impressive start.
Recommended bet: Under 1.5 goals in Poland v Greece @ 27/20
Outside punt: Poland and Greece to draw 0-0 @ 19/4
New customers can register here to claim a free £25 bet or click here to see all our Euro 2012 odds.
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