The European Championships opened on Friday with some great football and some intriguing results. The games come thick and fast as Northern Ireland take centre stage.
You can get Poland to win this game with odds of 5/1. Or, if you want to bang the drum for the British team, you can get 16/1 odds for Northern Ireland to win and grab all three points and put themselves in a great position to qualify for the second round.
Northern Ireland shocked everyone by qualifying for the Euros in a group that pretty much turned things on its head. Greece came in as the seeded team for the qualifiers but somehow finished bottom, giving the Irish a chance to at least get to the play-offs.
They did much more than this, finishing above Romania (who gave France a good game on Friday) and Hungary to clinch top spot. They managed to lose just one game and come into the tournament as the form team, being unbeaten in the last 12 games (including friendlies).
Kyle Lafferty will lead the line following his 7 goals in the 9 games he played in the qualifiers. His slight injury gave the whole nation a fright during the week but he seems to be fit. He has barely played for Norwich City in the Premier League in the last year and has been loaned out to other teams, but he comes to life when he plays international football.
Poland are no doubt the favourites for this game and will be very keen to get all three points in a group that includes world champions Germany. Getting the win here will set them up to qualify for the second round. They came through their qualifying group behind Germany (who they will be sick of the sight of) in second place by just one point. They managed to get through against both Republic of Ireland and Scotland, so they’ll have plenty of experience of playing British teams!
Within that team they will have the in-form striker in Robert Lewandowski, who scored 13 goals in the group – 4 goals ahead of the next best player (Thomas Muller) in the group. He captains the team as their talisman and plays for one of Europe’s best teams in Bayern Munich. With money flying around the Premier League this Summer he might even join one of the teams in England.
The game will no doubt be a tight affair and they might not be very many goals as with many of the early games in the tournament.
Lets hope that there will also be no more violence like we have seen so far in the tournament. Whilst there has been a lot of publicised issues in Marseille between the English, French and Russians, there have been small reports of between the Irish and Polish fans.