Group 7 – Match Day 4: Prediction and betting pick

Greece will have to face another difficult opponent today. The match against Slovakia will be held at Štadión Pasienky in Bratislava. The referee , Mr. Collum from Scotland, was never appointed in a match of Greece in the past. Since 2009, he was appointed in three matches of Greek clubs (Olympiakos, PAOK and AEK) and the outcome was one away win (AEK 2012), one home draw (PAOK 2010) and one away loss (Olympiakos 2009).

Slovakia has already collected seven points in three matches but this is the first difficult opponent they will face. They currently have the same points with Bosnia Herzegovina and Greece and they hold the second place because of the goal difference. They are expected to be highly motivated for the win because the absences of Greece offers them a real chance to get in the way of the two strong favorites of Group 7. If they will win today they will then have their chances against Vosnia Herzegovina (home and away) and if possible go after the first place.

Greece had some good chances in the last match against Bosnia Herzegovina and two of them were stopped by the goalposts. Despite their absences they had a good overall performance and the draw was relatively a fair results. Malezas (DEF) was doing great in his defensive duties but he was very unlucky to go out injured. The list of the problems for Mr. Santos is longer today but he did not call up any other defender. In his statements for his choice he said that he is confident that his players will do whatever necessary to get the win in this match.

Probable Lineup

Goalkeeper

Karnezis

Defenders

Torossidis | Papastathopoulos | Siovas or Katsouranis | Spyropoulos

Midfielders

Ninis or Maniatis | Tziolis | Katsouranis or Maniatis | Fortounis

Forwards

Salpiggidis or Gekas | Samaras

Absences for Greece

Injured

Holebas (DEF), K. Papadopoulos (DEF), A. Papadopoulos (DEF, injured since last EURO), Malezas (DEF), Vyntra (DEF), Christodoulopoulos (MID)

Prediction

Mr. Santos has done a great job so far with Greece. He is the coach and he surely knows best what the players can do (or cannot do) and if he needs more players or not. The results of both teams so far make the draw as a highly probable outcome for this match. It is still too early to say who will qualify and there are many matches ahead of us. I have felt very confident for Greece in the past but this time I feel we are in a difficult spot. Slovakia is motivated for the win and Greece has too many absences in defense and all of them are experienced and important players.

Mr. Santos has managed to change the mentallity of the players over the last years. They are no longer the team that defends massively and tries to steal a win with 1-0. If you have watched enough matches of Greece I am sure you know what I mean. The players enter the field to win the match, not just to keep a clean sheet. This is why I am afraid that Slovakia can be a threat. You might have noticed (especially in Euro 2012) that Greece receives goals more often. Whether we score first or not the players will still be after the win. I would be more confident if we had a full roster for this match. Now that we do not I am afraid we will receive a goal and if we do, the team will open and I cannot be sure what can happen until the final whistle.

Betting Pick: Both teams to score @ 2.05

I know the Greek players will give their heart to score in this match and I feel confident they will do. As a punter I cannot underestimate the motive of Slovakia and the defensive absences of Greece. I believe that both of them will score and hopefully, Greece will score more than once…

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