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Euro 2012 Group A preview: Poland v Greece

SoccerNews in European Championships 7 Jun 2012

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Captain Jakub Blaszczykowski believes Poland ‘can cause some havoc’ at Euro 2012 but knows the Greece opener is crucial.

The European Championships co-host head into Friday’s opening match against Greece as the lowest-ranked team in the tournament but Blaszczykowski is confident Poland can have some success at Euro 2012.

“I believe that with a lot of luck, we can cause some havoc during the tournament,” Blaszczykowski said.

“It all depends on how we play in the group stage.

“Success at that stage will give us a lot of self-belief and it will enable us to go further.”

Poland are in Group A with Greece, Czech Republic and Russia.

It is widely regarded as the easiest group at the continental championships, which has put added pressure on the Poles to step up at home but Blaszczykowski, who is known as ‘Kuba’, has warned his team-mates that they must focus on Greece first.

Poland and Russia have a turbulent political history and plenty of Polish fans are excited about their team’s second group-stage clash on Tuesday but Blaszczykowski will not allow his players to do that.

“The first step is always the most important step, and the first step is the Greece match,” the Borussia Dortmund midfielder said.

The 26-year-old captain is one of three Dortmund players in the Polish squad and all of them will play a key role at Euro 2012.

Blaszczykowski is joined by striker Robert Lewandowski and full-back Lukasz Piszczek.

Lewandowski will be critical to Poland’s chances of success in only their second European Championships.

The tall striker scored 30 goals for Dortmund as they won the German league and cup double last season and will be Poland’s best goal-scoring option.

Poland will have to work hard on Friday, however, to give Lewandowski goal-scoring opportunities as they take on Greece who were one of the best defensive sides in qualifying for Euro 2012.

Greece conceded just five goals in their 10 qualifying matches as they remained undefeated to top Group F, with only Italy (two goals) France and Russia (four goals each) letting in less.

Greek striker Giorgos Samaras has pledged that his team will do everything they can to give their country, which is stricken with economic difficulties, some happiness.

“I do not know how far we will go and what we can do but with our joy of playing football we want to give joy to Greeks,” Samaras said.

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