Programming alert for US viewers: ESPN will now show Poland against Czech Republic, while Russia vs Greece will be shown live on ESPN2.
Today marks the first day of the final matches in the opening group stages of Euro 2012. As you may have realized already, there’ll be two matches a day for the next few days — and the matches in each group will be played at the same time.
Before the tournament began, a lot of people shrugged at the prospect of watching Group A. But out of all of the groups, Group A has been one of the most fascinating ones to watch. We see Poland take on Czech Republic — whoever wins will qualify for the quarterfinal. And then we have Russia against Greece — whoever wins this one will also qualify for the quarterfinal. Therefore, expect all four teams to be playing out of their minds to get the crucial 3 points. Russia and Poland are favorites to qualify from this group, but I wouldn’t rule out Greece or Czech Republic.
Suffice to say, these matches will be wide-open, which should make for scintillating viewing.
Whoever finishes first in this group will play the second place team from Group B, which could end up being Portugal, Holland or Denmark. Meanwhile, whoever finishes in second place in Group A will face a quarterfinal opponent of the first place team in Group B — which looks like it’ll be Germany. There’s no easy ride whatever happens in the quarterfinals!
Before, during and after today’s matches, post your rants, raves, questions and observations in the comments section below.