MM’s Ben Burrows thinks the Russians should have enough class to come out on top in Group A.
The co-hosts will be quietly confident that they can use their home advantage and qualify for the knockout stages.
The Dortmund triumvirate of winger Jakub Blaszczykowski, right back Lukasz Pisczek and star man Robert Lewandowski are key elements of the lowest ranked side at the tournament.
Striker Lewandowski will have the nation’s hopes on his shoulders and will hope to add to his 13 international goals to fire the hosts into the last eight.
The Greek’s will be hoping to emulate the heady days of Portugal 2004 where they went all the way to the final and lifted the trophy.
Angelos Charisteas was the hero back then and they will be looking at highly rated youngster Sotiris Ninis to help them out of a tricky group.
Realistically a place in the last eight is the best they can hope for but for the Greeks any escape from their dire financial crisis at home will be welcome relief for their suffering fans.
The Russian’s are Group A favourites and should be confident of progressing from the group as winners.
Former Spurs man Roman Pavlyuchenko is top marksman for his national side while Arsenal’s Andrey Arshavin will be expected to provide his ammunition.
Rising star Alan Dzagoev will be auditioning for a move to one of Europe’s elite with scouts from all over the continent expected to flock to watch the CSKA Moscow man.
CLASS: Chelsea stopper Petr Cech is last line of defence for the Czechs.
The Czech’s are not the team they once were and are unlikely to repeat the famous feat of progressing all the way to the final in Euro 96.
But they are tough to break down and have a number of attacking threats which should cause their Group A rivals problems.
FC Nuremburg’s Tomas Pekhart and Arsenal’s Tomas Rosicky are dangerous going forward while Chelsea’s super stopper Petr Cech is a world-class last line of defence.
Russia should have enough class and wherewithal to progress but look out for the Czech’s and hosts Poland to battle it out for second spot.