Wenger: Poland must win opener against Greece to progress

The Arsenal manager believes Poland will feel great pressure as hosts and must start the tournament with a win over 2004 winners Greece to progress ahead of Russia & Czech Republic
Arsene Wenger believes Poland need to open Euro 2012 with victory against Greece to cope with pressure from home fans and advance ahead of Russia or Czech Republic.

The Arsenal manager sees three of his players head to the tournament to contest Group A, in goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny [Poland], midfielder Tomas Rosicky [Czech Republic] and forward Andrei Arshavin [Russia].

"Group A is the one everybody would like to be in, but it is very difficult to choose who will come out of it," he told Arsenal's official website.

"At the start, only considering football, you have to say Czech Republic and Russia are the favourites. Greece will not qualify.

"But Poland at home will be highly focused and it's rare to see a home team that doesn't come through the group stage.

"It is a massive occasion for Poland, a massive pressure, and sometimes a little bit of a handicap. It is always difficult at home until you have reached your basic target, which means to get out of the group."

The manager believed it was essential for Poland to start with a win in the opening game of Euro 2012 against Greece on June 8.

"That may be the biggest pressure game as it is an opportunity for them. They know that with Russia and Czech Republic behind, it is a game they cannot miss," he continued.

"You don't expect the most spectacular game, but if Poland manage to win even 1-0 they have a good chance to go through."

"They have some [good] players, like Robert Lewandowski up front who is doing extremely well."