Match Preview and Betting Pick
Greece will face Switzerland in a friendly match tonight at Georgios Karaiskakis. Coach Santos is pleased to see many of the players he trusts available for this match and his recent statements show he wants the win but not only for its importance in FIFA rankings. According to what he said, his expects his players to be concentrated in every match of the National Team.
The experienced coach has only five days to work with the players that will face Bosnia Herzegovina on 22/03/12. The two teams hold the first place and their battle will probably determine the winner of Group 7. This is exactly why the players are expected to give their best in this preparation match. The possible lineup:
Sifakis (or Karnezis)
Papastathopoulos | Manolas | Torossidis | Spyropoulos
Katsouranis | Tachtsidis | Fortounis | Kone
Salpiggidis | Athanassiadis
Problems, Absences: Avraam Papadopoulos (DEF), Samaras (FWD, injured)
Greece managed to build a good reputation over the last years and coach Santos has changed the mentality of the National Squad. His team is no longer concentrated in massive defense like the EURO 2004 Squad was. They enter any match with a winning attitude, and they do try to cause trouble to the opponent’s defense. The Greek players might not be as skilled as the ones of other countries, but they do give their best for the win in any official or friendly match based on only one characteristic; teamwork.
Switzerland is doing great in Group E of the World Cup qualifiers where they hold the first place with three wins and one draw. They are preparing for their next home match against Cyprus and their overall performances have made them the favorite not only for the next match but also for qualifying to the World Cup.
Both teams will have two absences in this match so we should not really expect big changes in their performances. Their history since 1972 shows 2 wins for Greece, 3 draws and 7 wins for Switzerland. They last met in 2008-09 with Switzerland winning both matches for the World Cup QL 2010 (2-0 at home, 1-2 away). In theory the two teams are very close in terms of performance over the last years so the offered odds are fair more or less, especially since this is a friendly match.
Betting pick: Both teams to score @ 1.90
This is one of my favorite bets since coach Santos took over. Greece is always playing for the win but this usually causes some problems in defense. I am confident that the players will score today to satisfy their fans at Karaiskaki but Switzerland is capable of taking advantage of any defensive weakness.
Other bets and tips
I am convinced that all Greek players will be concentrated today in this match. The upcoming match against Bosnia Herzegovina is too important for them and everyone wants to be in the starting lineup of that match. Coach Santos has a lot of good players available today and all of them will give their best regardless of the experiments he may do during the match. Switzerland has an easier match ahead and they will not be as alerted as the Greeks. The win of Greece @ 2.40 is a good option especially if Georgios Karaiskakis will have high attendance numbers today.