With the financial crisis left at home, Greece’s footballers will be hoping to spread some summer cheer when they head to Poland and Ukraine. Fernando Santos has taken over from 2004’s winning coach Otto Rehhagel and although the team continue to build from a solid base, the Greeks are nowhere near the ultra-defensive team they once were. Surprisingly shunted to Group A outsiders, ignore the Greeks at your peril.
- Since the 2010 World Cup, Greece have lost just one of their last 20 internationals and prior to that defeat had gone 17 matches unbeaten.
- Thirteen of their last 15 wins have been by exactly one goal, while only once in their last 20 games have Greece conceded more than once.
- No qualifier scored fewer goals than Greece’s haul of 14.
QPR: A well-drilled outfit (under Mark Hughes at least), but also possess a few too many hot heads at times (think Cisse & Barton). Could provide fireworks and the occasional upset.
Any Other Business
The Greeks remain excellent defensively and incredibly hard to beat. Well organised, there is no obvious potent forward but Santos’ side are effective from set-pieces and so look to the centre-halves for some big money goalscorer prices, especially with Giogios Karagounis expert delivery.
Unfairly cast aside by the odds-compilers, Greece are being written off as Group A outsiders. With Russia likely to be a close above the rest, Greece’s record over the past 24 months deserves respect. Back Greece to qualify from Group A at 15/8 with WBX.