Euro 2012: Group A Preview: Poland's European dream

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Euro 2012: Group A Preview: Poland's European dream
Warsaw, Jun 8: Group A consists co-hosts Poland, Russia, Czech Republic and Russia. Group A seems to be the easiest of the other three pools in the tournament. But one can only know after the competitive nature of these 'low' sides kicks in and there will be more hunger for European glory.

Poland, co-hosts of EURO 2012, qualified automatically to only their second UEFA European championship. Coach Franciszek Smuda opted for a young side which include German Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund trio Jakub Blaszczykowski, Robert Lewandowski and Lukasz Piszczek. Apart from this, the Polish can only bank on home advantage and will hope to qualify to the next round.

Recent form: WDWWW

Best EURO performance: EURO 2008 Qualification

Key Players: Jakub Blaszczykowski, Robert Lewandowski, Lukasz Piszczek and Adrian Mierzejewski

Greece shocked Europe when they were crowned champions back in 2004. Lack of big names drives them to play with full spirit and an unbeaten qualifying campaign will lift their confidence ahead of their opening match against co-hosts Poland. Team effort and setting high standards is the Greek formula to success.

Recent form: DLDDW

Best EURO performance: Winners 2004.

Key Players: Giorgos Karagounis, Vassilis Torossidis, Avraam Papadopoulos and Dimitris Salpingidis.

Russia were semi-finalists four years ago in Austria-Switzerland. It took the mighty Spain to stop them but their miserable run in the biggest stage continued when they failed to qualify for the World Cup in 2010. Dutch coach Dick Advocaat, who will resign post EURO's, led his side to top the table after five attempts. Russians can cause problems with their free flowing attacking style and a mountain of defence to halt the opposition.

Recent form: DWDDW

Best EURO performance: Winners 1960 (as USSR)

Key Players: Pavel Pogrebnyak, Igor Semshov, Andrei Arshavin and Alexei Berezutski.

Czech Republic have qualified for every UEFA European Championship since their separation from Czechoslovakia. In EURO 2012 qualifiers, the Czechs managed to beat Montenegro in the second-led of the play-offs. After their failure to reach the 2010 World Cup and suffering a group stage exit in EURO 2008 coach Michal Bílek opted to play a new generation of players to play along side veterans Petr Cech, Milan Baros and Tomas Rosicky.

Recent form: DWDDW

Best EURO performance: Winners 1976 (as Czechoslovakia)

Key Players: Petr Cech, Milan Baros, Tomas Rosicky and Petr Jiracek

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