One of the tightest groups in Euro 2012 qualifying has to be Group B as there are four teams still in the running for top spot and the second-place playoff spot. Russia has a slim lead heading into the final two qualifying matches, but there’s no room for error as the Republic of Ireland, Slovakia, and Armenia are ready to pounce if the Russians slip up.
The biggest game of the group on Oct 7th features Russia on the road in Zilna, Slovakia. Russia has five wins, two draws and a loss for 17 points while Slovakia sits in fourth place with 14 points from four wins, two draws and two losses. Ireland is in second place with 15 points and Armenia is third with 14.
All remaining games in this group will have a huge impact on who wins it and who comes in second. Obviously, two of the top four clubs are going to be heartbroken as they won’t make it. Russia is at home to last-place Andorra in their last group game while Slovakia will travel to fifth-place Macedonia.
The combinations are endless in this group and that makes each game crucial. Slovakia should be a confident squad heading into the game since they travelled to Russia in September of last year and came away with a 1-0 victory.
Online bookie 5dimes.com has a Russia win listed at +152 with a Slovakia victory at +206. The odds of a draw are listed at +225. Visit 5Dimes.com to place a bet on Russia vs Slovakia or to check out the odds of all of the other Euro 2012 qualifying games. I should also point out that you can find other Euro 2012 predictions in our soccer betting news section.
Russian manager Dick Advocaat made two changes to the team since September as Aleksandr Samedov has been called up along with Vladimir Dyadyun as replacements for Dmitri Torbinski and Aleksandr Kerzhakov, who are both out with injuries.
There are no changes in the Slovakian squad since last time out and they know they have to win both of their remaining games and rely on getting some help from other teams.
Slovakia has played Russia six times and has two wins, three draws and a loss against them. They have a win and a draw in home games. When Slovakia was a part of the former Czechoslovakia they had two wins, four draws and six losses against the Russians in 12 games.
Knowing that they have already beaten the Russians in their own backyard earlier on in Euro 2012 qualifying could be the confidence booster Slovakia needs for this game. It should be a close one and don’t be surprised if Slovakia pulls off another one-goal win here to put them right in the thick of things for the last day of qualifying next Tuesday.
Play: Slovakia +206
Written by: Ian Palmer