Aleksandr Kerzhakov became something of a figure of fun on the opening day of Euro 2012 after a woeful performance in front of goal.
Despite his Russia team completing a convincing 4-1 win against the Czech Republic, Kerzhakov managed to break the record for most shots off-target (seven) in a European Championship finals game – without once managing to trouble Petr Cech.
It was an eye-catching display for all the wrong reasons and when his replacement Roman Pavlyuchenko scored a fine goal within moments of getting on the field it only highlighted Kerzhakov’s inefficiency.
But it would still be a surprise if Dick Advocaat changes things against Poland on Tuesday. He will surely be aware that Kerzhakov’s movement was a key component in Russia’s effective counterattacks and the forward is still more than capable of scoring goals for his side.
As long as Kerzhakov's confidence hasn't been irreparably damaged for his tournament, the price of 11/2 (6.5) for the Zenit St Petersburg forward to net first against the Poles looks a good value bet.
Of course, there is goalscoring potential throughout the Russia midfield and Alan Dzagoev is 7/1 (8.0) with Sportingbet to move clear on his own as tournament top scorer by netting the opener here.
For the Poles, Robert Lewandowski is a clear favourite to be among the scorers – not least because he was the only man in the box for much of the second half against Greece.
The 30-goal Dortmund striker will hope for better support here so he can build on his encouraging understanding with fellow BVB pair Lukasz Piszczek and Jakub Blaszczykowski on the right flank. Lewandowski is 5/1 (6.0) with Sportingbet to score first and send Warsaw into a state of delirium.
In the other game in Group A on Tuesday, Greece take on Czech Republic and it’s Greek striker Theofanis Gekas who is favourite to open the scoring with Sportingbet at 7/1 (8.0), just ahead of his Czech counterpart Milan Baros at 15/2 (8.5).
But it’s Dimitris Salpingidis who represents the pick of the bets, given his enthusiastic game-changing efforts against Poland on Friday.
The 30-year-old PAOK forward may not boast the most impressive of goalscoring records but as the scorer of Greece's first-ever World Cup goal and the man responsible for their only strike so far at this tournament, he has genuine pedigree.
Salpingidis can expect to start in this one and is available at a rather large 11/1 (12.0) put the Greeks in front.
The pick of the bets though, is to back him at an industry-best price of 9/2 (5.5) anytime goalscorer with Sportingbet.
|Dimitris Salpingidis anytime scorer at 9/2 (5.50) with Sportingbet
||Aleksandr Kerzhakov FGS at 11/2 (6.50) with Sportingbet
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Adam Bate is a professional freelance journalist who specialises in football and betting. He is editor of GhostGoal which can be found here - you can also follow Adam on
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