Greece’s national team will try to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil through the play-off round. Greece’s possible opponents are Iceland, Sweden, France and Romania.
Greece have been making an effort since 2002 to establish themselves. They failed to qualify automatically for Brazil 2014 after finishing behind Bosnia and Herzegovina and now they have a second chance.
None of Greece's possible opponents are way out of theur league. The only exception might be France because there we are dealing with a team with a lot of experience and great history. Nevertheles, France are not even near to the standards that they used to be.
Iceland and Romania are teams with lots of talent and perspective but with no experience of such matches and therefore no-one can predict how they are going to react to all of this pressure.
Fernando Santos, the manager of Greek national team, presented a rather boring team throughout the group stage. A team that presented one of the top three defensive lines in Europe and finished qualifying with a record of 25 points but never played up to the real capabilities of the team.
Greece presented boring game play that resulted in wide skepticism about the future. Greece’s problem is in the midfield. Veteran Giorgos Karagounis and Kostas Katsouranis are the only ones still in the squad from that epic 2004 European title and they are still irreplaceable.
Alexandros Tziolis and Georgios Maniatis - thought to be their replacements - proved unable to fill their shoes. In general, Greece do not have midfielders that can carry the ball forward and make a good first pass after intercepting the opponent.
Maniatis and Tziolis can run all over the field but they cannot get forward effectively. Throughout qualifying, Santos tried to find a solution to this problem with some youngsters but none of them succeeded in this mission.
Panagiotis Kone of Bologna FC, Sotiris Ninis of Parma FC, Panagiotis Tachtsidis of Genoa FC, Kostas Fortounis of FC Kaiserslautern all had their chance but they were all disappointing.
As a result of this, Greece continued to be unproductive and depended on Karagounis and Katsouranis' form. Skepticism surrounds Santos and his team and everyone is praying that both Katsouranis and Karagounis will stay clear of injuries and continue to serve the national team.
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