All four teams in Group A have the opportunity to make the Quarter-Finals as we head into the final game. Remember, in the case of a points-tie, it is the results of the teams involved, not the goal difference that separates them.
CZECH REPUBLIC V POLAND
The co-hosts equaliser against Russia makes the equation for them simple. Win and they go through, fail to do so and they go out. For the Czechs however, a draw would be enough unless the Greeks manage to beat the Russians.
Therefore, the Czech psyche may well be affected if the score stays level, waiting for news from the other game. With the weakness of the Czech defence, keeping the score level is easier said than done. The moving of Michael Kadlec from left-back to centre-halve worked for the Greece game but he is a very aggressive player naturally and would be more suited to left-midfield than centre.
Whether it is Kadlec or David Limbersky playing left-back, Vaclav Pilar will be critical. Wolfsburg’s new signing has been excellent going forward in the first two games, however he will be just as important in this for him to be able to protect the left-back against the Polish right.
While it has been the winger, Jakub Blaszczykowski who has set up one and scored one for the Poles, in both situations his space was created by the attacking intent of full-back Lukask Piszczek creating a two-on-one situation against the opposition full-back, something that Pilar needs to help prevent.
If they are successful in doing that, Poland will need to find a different creative output. Ludovic Obraniak would normally be that man. However, after his outburst in response to his substitution against Russia, disciplinarian Franciszek Smuda may well drop him and Poland will struggle to create without him.
Przemyslaw Tyton was exceptional in goal against Russia and Smuda has to choose between sticking with Tyton or reinstate Wojciech Szczesny who returns from suspension.
GREECE V RUSSIA
Russia know a point is good enough to take them into the last eight but it is unlikely they will be playing that way. Germany will likely await the group runners-up and even if they were not, a team whose full-backs are Yuri Zhirkov and Aleksandr Anyukov are hardly set-up in the best way to play on the defensive.
Meanwhile, anyone who saw Greece in the last World Cup playing a must-win game will know that traditionally it has no effect on them and they continue to play ultra-defensive. Despite knowing that a win would guarantee them qualification, although the passing style is a lot shorter than under Rehhagel, it is still expected that they play looking for the 1-0.
For Dick Advocaat, his job is relatively simple; make sure that his side plays with the attacking flair they have showed so far. If they do so, then they will rip the Greek defence to shreds like the Czechs did in the opening quarter of an hour and avoid the spells when the Russians themselves dropped intensity and let the Poles back into their game.
Greece’s Portuguese boss, Fernando Santos has two major things to work out. Firstly, who to take over from injured goalkeeper Kostas Chalkias, who admittedly did not perform well before injury, with little to choose between Michalis Sifakis and Alexandros Tzorvas. The bigger issue is how to utilise his three main attacking threats; Dimitris Salpingidis, Theofanis Gekas and Georgios Samaras.
Salpingidis and Gekas both looked more threatening when coming on as a substitute for the other one. Samaras on the other hand, has been the best attacking player that the Greeks have had in every facet of the game, except the actually shooting on goal.
Tags: Czech Republic, Euro 2012, Greece, Group A, Poland, Russia