Greek national team manager Fernando Santos has stated that his teams make their own luck after they stand on the brink of World Cup qualification following a 3-1 win over Romania in the first leg of the World Cup play-offs. Greece and Romania have been paired together in the final round of World Cup qualification. A victory in a two-legged match will see one of the teams in the World Cup finals. Greece have been one of the successful teams in the last few years amongst the two and they asserted their position as one of the favourites by winning the first leg.
Speaking ahead of the second leg, Santos said that he is not worried about the luck factor for the Euro 2004 champions because his teams make their own luck. Romania have an opportunity to turn things around, but it looks highly unlikely that they will be able to do anything away from home.
Santos has tried to tone down the encounter by saying that his players are aware of their position in the tie. Hence, there is no unrealistic thinking within the squad. Katsouranis will be absent from the Greek squad, but Santos has said that his team has enough strength in depth to be able to replace him.
“Greece is the favorite to progress. Greek internationals have the necessary realism and experience in order to protect Friday’s win and come out winners from the second leg match. We are definitely realistic in understanding that we have an advantage over Romania to progress in the next round after the first leg’s victory. With my player’s experience we should be able to secure the result we want after winning the first game by a two goal margin. It would not be an easy game,” said Santos ahead of the match.
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The Greece national football team will lock horns with Slovakia in a World Cup qualifying game at Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium on Friday.
The chances of Greece directly qualifying for the finals in Brazil are not looking that good. They are currently at the second position in their group which is Group G. They have got the same no. of points as the table toppers Bosnia and Herzegovina, but, there is a huge difference between the goal differentials of the two teams. The no. of goals scored by Bosnia is 20 more than the no. of goals conceded by them, while, in Greece’s case, it’s only 5.
Bosnia has to play its next two games against Liechtenstein and Lithuania respectively. Both these teams are comparatively weaker and they are not expected to prevent Bosnia from securing 3 points. So, it’s important for Greece to make sure that they win both their remaining games and that too by big margins so that they can leave Bosnia behind on the basis of goal difference. However, this is looking close to impossible as Greece has found the net just 9 times in their 8 games so far. So, it’s hard to imagine them striking more than 15 times in their next couple of games.
On the other hand, Slovakia is not in contention now for a place in the finals. They have just managed to win 3 out of their 8 games so far and now, it’s only a matter of pride for them. They would like to be the party spoilers for Greece.
When Greece had taken on Slovakia at Bratislava last year, they had won by 1-0. A win by such a close margin will not do the trick for them this time around. They need to win by a much bigger margin.
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