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dark_horse

Israel - Greece

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Just 33 days away from Greece's next upcoming WCQ as they face Israel. The original match was to be played in Tel-Aviv, because of the ongoing violence in the Gaza Strip, FIFA decided to relocate to another venue away from the main capital. It will be played in Ramat Gan

Of course after 4 days from that day, Greece will play Israel again at Heraklion. We will keep that match thread on a seperate topic.

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thankfully this Israel tie was kept out of Athens and Saloniki.

Plenty of anti-Israel crap and Gaza whining to come...

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Good, then let me start off with the "anti Israel crap". What the #### is a country in the Middle East doing in our European qualifier group?

As you know Israel have a history of poor relations with the Middle East, so on any givin day if the Israelis play there soccer matches against the likes of Palestaine, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, etc, there will always be political violence and fascism. So UEFA is a very approriate confederation for Israel to play in against European countries.

One note to follow, there will be no political discussion, debates, what so ever, other than the match itself. I will give disciplinary action if anybody violate these rules. We Greeks need to keep it civil towards the Israeli people. Let's us not turn this thread into a holy war. ;)

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I really hope we don't see any anti-Israel banners at any of the games. For all our country's ills, racism is a very minute phenomenon in Greece and that's something we can all be proud of. So let's hope a vocal minority doesn't start bs at the game.

As for the game itself... Israel are undefeated at home for something like 3 years if I'm not mistaken so this will be a tough game. They have solid players everywhere and their defence is pretty good aerially, so we'll need Gekas to be at his best (it's also a game I'd like to see Samaras feature in). One things for sure, we need a minimum of 4 points from this game, but that would probably leave us needing to win in Switzerland, so let's get 6 to give us some confidence. It will be tough but we can do it.

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I can easily respond to that but you want to keep this strict, fine, maybe in another thread. I will say though, that what UEFA are doing is totally inappropriate. Again, we can't go any further, so la di da. If Otto were making good player choices this shouldn't be a problem for us at all. Very hard to say what will turn up. He insists on the 4-3-3 formation but I would go w/ a 4-4-2.

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(it's also a game I'd like to see Samaras feature in)

That surprises me coming from you ... :)

Anyway, all political discussions aside, we shouldn't confuse sports with politics. The Israeli team is not the Knesset. It does not have Olmert as a coach. These are 11 (or 22, whatever) guys coming out to play football, nothing more, nothing less. The same would go for the Palestinian NT, and so on...

We, the Greeks, should be able, as civil people to distinguish sports from politics. Sadly enough some hotheads won't understand.

Back to the game now, I think the one in Israel might be the hardest game of our qualifiers.

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That surprises me coming from you ... :)

Anyway, all political discussions aside, we shouldn't confuse sports with politics. The Israeli team is not the Knesset. It does not have Olmert as a coach. These are 11 (or 22, whatever) guys coming out to play football, nothing more, nothing less. The same would go for the Palestinian NT, and so on...

We, the Greeks, should be able, as civil people to distinguish sports from politics. Sadly enough some hotheads won't understand.

Back to the game now, I think the one in Israel might be the hardest game of our qualifiers.

I believe that unless you're a super-strong team you should choose your players according the strengths/weaknesses of the opposition. My first choice would be to use Gekas and Mantzios, but Mantzios probably won't be called up so Samaras' tendency to drop deep may help against Israel.

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England played Israel last time round and I saw a few games of these guys.

They are a tight unit and difficult to break at home. However, they look weak on the wings and that's were you should try and play. Croatia battered them in Tel Aviv in 2006 by using the wings.

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We Greeks really need to keep political overtones away from these matches. The Israel NT are footballers, and much like Genome has said they aren't managed by Netanyahu or Sharon.

I have a bad feeling about the next 2 matches. The Israeli's will be hard to break down and we don't have the leaders (Otto/Basinas) to unfortunately win.

I know we have the players, but they are either not playing or are playing out of position.

We will see how it all plays out.

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England played Israel last time round and I saw a few games of these guys.

They are a tight unit and difficult to break at home. However, they look weak on the wings and that's were you should try and play. Croatia battered them in Tel Aviv in 2006 by using the wings.

This is true... unfortunately we lack width! :P

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I'm thinking that Otto will try to bunker down in this game and roll out a 5-3-2 hoping for the 0-0. Given that Katsouranis is suspended for this match, here's my prediction for Otto's lineup:

-------------------------------------------Chalkias-------------------------------------------

Seitaridis--------------------Avraam-------Dellas--------Kyriakos--------------Torosidis

---------------------------Tziolis-----------Basinas----------Karagounis-------------------

------------------------------------Charisteas-------Gekas---------------------------------

Obviously I'm hoping he goes with something a little more adventurous as we can't afford to sit around absorbing pressure from the Israelis as they will eventually break us down. I'd love to see something along these lines (but I know the chances of this happening are less than nil):

--------------------------------------------Tzorvas-------------------------------------------

Seitaridis-----------------------Kyriakos-------------Dellas------------------Spyropoulos

--------------------Torosidis--------------Tziolis---------------Karagounis-----------------

------------------------------------------Samaras-------------------------------------------

------------------------------Charisteas-------------Gekas---------------------------------

Btw, is Torosidis injured? Will he be good to go for this match?

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I'm thinking that Otto will try to bunker down in this game and roll out a 5-3-2 hoping for the 0-0. Given that Katsouranis is suspended for this match, here's my prediction for Otto's lineup:

-------------------------------------------Chalkias-------------------------------------------

Seitaridis--------------------Avraam-------Dellas--------Kyriakos--------------Torosidis

---------------------------Tziolis-----------Basinas----------Karagounis-------------------

------------------------------------Charisteas-------Gekas---------------------------------

Obviously I'm hoping he goes with something a little more adventurous as we can't afford to sit around absorbing pressure from the Israelis as they will eventually break us down. I'd love to see something along these lines (but I know the chances of this happening are less than nil):

--------------------------------------------Tzorvas-------------------------------------------

Seitaridis-----------------------Kyriakos-------------Dellas------------------Spyropoulos

--------------------Torosidis--------------Tziolis---------------Karagounis-----------------

------------------------------------------Samaras-------------------------------------------

------------------------------Charisteas-------------Gekas---------------------------------

Btw, is Torosidis injured? Will he be good to go for this match?

I'll take a pass on Avraam...I believe he has no place in the 11kada.

Otto will go with:

Tzorvas

Giourkas,Dellas,Soto,Torosidis

Karagounis,Tziolis,Basinas

Charisteas,Gekas,Samaras

This is a SLOW midfield I'd bump Basinas move up Toro and play Spyropoulos at LB.

We will sit back and absorb so the mids will run alot of km's!

I'd play:

..............................................Tzorvas.....................................................................

...Giourkas..................Dellas.................Soto.....................................??????

..............................................Tziolis......................................................................

......................Toro.........................................................Basinas..........................

..........................................Karagounis................................................................

.............................Gekas......................................Samaras.................................

Can you believe this country has not produced a quality LMid and Lback (Georgatos,Venetidis Fyssas all came up 1 shot WOW)

I worry starting Spyropoulos in such a big game, does Otto have the stones to call up the kid from Ergotelis and push back Toro at LB. How is Makos at Panionios can he not help.

Any young Leftfooters on the horizon??

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I don't like Avraam in the endekada either but Otto seems to have faith in him and likes to include him. That's why I figured he'd start him.

Personally, if we're hell bent on playing 5 in the back, I'd rather use Papastathopoulos there with Dellas and Kyriakos but again, I prefer a 4-3-1-2. As for your LB query, I think that Spyropoulos is slowly getting there. I know that he's not there yet and his defensive game leaves a lot to be desired but I think offensively he definitely has the skills. Who knows, maybe in 2-3 years with a bit more experience, he might be able to carry the load.

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^ Liberopoulos wont play...

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^ Liberopoulos wont play...

Why doesn't he call Mantzios then?!

Can't Otto just step down and let someone else take over? <_<

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agreed dude.

lyberopoulos should be finished with the national team, we have plenty of strikers that could be learning in his spot.

Mantzios should be starting with Gkekas. Now thats what I want to see. Let Vangelis instead of Charisteas. Hes just a much better version of Angelos.

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agreed dude.

lyberopoulos should be finished with the national team, we have plenty of strikers that could be learning in his spot.

Mantzios should be starting with Gkekas. Now thats what I want to see. Let Vangelis instead of Charisteas. Hes just a much better version of Angelos.

Although I totally agree with you and DUDE, Mantzios should be an integral part of the team, he's not at all like Haristeas. Haristeas offers a completely different threat, he works hard and is better in the air than Mantzios. He also does the ugly stuff better, i.e. tackle, run like a lunatic, etc.

Mantzios is more like Vryzas. He is not a great goalscorer but has excellent close ball control which enables him to hold up the ball and bring others in to play. When we lost Vryzas we never replaced him, Mantzios is the logical replacement. In a 3-5-2 with Mantzios and Gekas in attack and Haristas as an impact sub is the logical step for us imo

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Yeah but the thing is Otto doesn't use logic when selecting players. Not only Mantzios, but I would have Agritis as a #10, Ninis, Papas, (starters) and Houtos as a back-up. Problem on the left? Dimoutsos. Problem solved. Thats your midfield right there. Gekas and Mantzios up front would most likely be great; you need 2 guys who perform different roles, not Gekas and Haristeas who both play the same position. They may be different players but they don't complement each other, Haristeas needs to stay in the middle where he can use his height and position himself well; once he does, he can find the back of the net. He's not a #11.

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Yeah but the thing is Otto doesn't use logic when selecting players. Not only Mantzios, but I would have Agritis as a #10, Ninis, Papas, (starters) and Houtos as a back-up. Problem on the left? Dimoutsos. Problem solved. Thats your midfield right there. Gekas and Mantzios up front would most likely be great; you need 2 guys who perform different roles, not Gekas and Haristeas who both play the same position. They may be different players but they don't complement each other, Haristeas needs to stay in the middle where he can use his height and position himself well; once he does, he can find the back of the net. He's not a #11.

Re are you joking?

Agritis? Are you talking about Anestis Agritis? :blink:

Dimoutsos is a right sided midfielder, not left and he sits on the bench at OFI, a team on the verge of relegation from the superleague.

Papas as in Haris Papas of Xanthi?

This team would struggle to stay up in the Superleague, at international level we'd finish bottom of the group.

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No I'm not joking; these are talented, overlooked players, an example of what happens in the Greek league when players aren't really developed properly. Agritis plays for Iraklis and he would give the NT a whole other dynamic. He has great control. Dimoutsos was playing on the left last weekend and was doing fine there, Papas is still playing well but just ignored. You can't judge these individuals based on where their teams are in the league. They have to be given a chance w/ the NT or they won't advance. So people sometimes complain we don't have a midfield but its just not true. Otto is basically killing off the chances for the next generation of players based on his stubborness. I hope more people realize they can do something to change this.

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No I'm not joking; these are talented, overlooked players, an example of what happens in the Greek league when players aren't really developed properly. Agritis plays for Iraklis and he would give the NT a whole other dynamic. He has great control. Dimoutsos was playing on the left last weekend and was doing fine there, Papas is still playing well but just ignored. You can't judge these individuals based on where their teams are in the league. They have to be given a chance w/ the NT or they won't advance. So people sometimes complain we don't have a midfield but its just not true. Otto is basically killing off the chances for the next generation of players based on his stubborness. I hope more people realize they can do something to change this.

Although I agree that Otto overlooks players I'm afraid that I strongly disagee that any of the players you mentioned are good enough to play at NT level.

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I have to agree with DUDE here ... can't see any of those make it at the moment ... maybe in the future.

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