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Road To Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup

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Unlike most of us whom still think we have hidden stars like Cristiano Ronaldo playing in the Greek Super League, Skibbe has worked out Greece's limitations, it's strengths, weaknesses & best way to qualify for Russia 2018. He knows that other than Fortounis & Mitroglou our attacking options & very limited. Greek fans make some of these other players seem much better than what they are in reality. Other than Fortounis & maybe Mitroglou on the bench no other current "ATTACKING" Greek player would make Belgium's or Bosnia & Herzegovina's squads if they were from that country. Greece strengthens is when the team plays with hardworking, discipline players, where there is passion, spirit & the team looks very solid & organized in defense due to a team unity. Now as much as I loved watching Holebas play for Greece, maybe he didn't fit that criteria & that was one of Skibbe's unpopular decisions along with having faith in players like Maniatis, Tzavellas etc whom had hardly any game time at club level. Greece will not dominate possession, will not play attractive football, will not score many goal with the what is available but can still qualify. Hopefully in the near future Greece can produce the next group of superstar attacking players but in reality in 2017 people outside of Greece probably would even know much about any current Greek footballer.

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That's true Greekaroos. The thing I don't understand is why can't we play at a faster tempo with sharp passes? We have the players for it for example Samaris and Mantalos. They have very good crisp passes that I've seen work well together. Fortounis is class and Mitroglou is lethal when he is given good service. Our problem is that we are slow and at times very clumsy. We also can't finish our chances, that's always been the case for Greece. I believe if we fix these problems we are going to see a better team. The only few games I've seen the national team play fast and good football is the Hungary match in 2015 and the friendly against the Netherlands. 

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On 1/21/2017 at 10:39 AM, ELLAS75 said:

Are we going to play a friendly vs anyone?

i don't see any friendlies scheduled yet

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On 24/01/2017 at 9:39 AM, Dean97 said:

That's true Greekaroos. The thing I don't understand is why can't we play at a faster tempo with sharp passes? We have the players for it for example Samaris and Mantalos. They have very good crisp passes that I've seen work well together. Fortounis is class and Mitroglou is lethal when he is given good service. Our problem is that we are slow and at times very clumsy. We also can't finish our chances, that's always been the case for Greece. I believe if we fix these problems we are going to see a better team. The only few games I've seen the national team play fast and good football is the Hungary match in 2015 and the friendly against the Netherlands. 

I agree about playing a quicker & sharp passing game to give players like Fortounis & Mitroglou much better service, where they are receiving the ball in good attacking positions with space created to work their magic but their is reason why Mantalos is playing for a team that is mid table in the Greek Super League, Miralem Pjanić of Bosnia & Herzegovina is a star at Juventus & Belgium's Kevin De Bruyne is a star at Man City. 

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You guys are exaggerating. 

Not everyone is stationary. 

 

Some raise their hands in the air and make funny gestures. 

 

 

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On 1/21/2017 at 9:39 AM, ELLAS75 said:

Are we going to play a friendly vs anyone?

My guess would be in early February and 2 in November (if Greece doesn't make the playoffs). 

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On 1/20/2017 at 7:03 AM, Greekaroos said:

 A solid draw or win away to Belgium will be a turning point in the team.

Very true, but keep in mind away to Bosnia will also play a significant role in our qualification. Greece can afford to lose only one match, the rest would be MUST WINS. 

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I hope we can at least draw against Belgium. They look like a very impressive team and I believe they will do well in the World Cup tournament itself. 

Papadopoulos is out for this game. Manolas and Sokratis have to be on their game or else or we are gone. We should play 5-3-2. With Torosidis and Stafylidis as wing backs. Mitroglou and Fortounis will be the 2 upfront. With Samaris, Mantalos and either Petsos or Tachtsidis as the 3 in the middle.

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On 27/1/2017 at 5:39 PM, Molon Lave said:

Very true, but keep in mind away to Bosnia will also play a significant role in our qualification. Greece can afford to lose only one match, the rest would be MUST WINS. 

I expect a draw vs Belgium at Athens and a Draw vs Bosnia. Winning a careless Estonia ,a Cyprus who I hope will push us (and maybe make some trouble for the Bosnians) and Gibraltar is the only must.

Either we qualify or not, the aim is finishing top 2.

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We will not get a point against Belgium, they will dominate us from start to finish and put a couple by us. My only hope is to draw against Bosnia and only lose two games this qualification both being against Belgium. I'm also hoping Belgium beat Bosnia in Bosnia. I dont think anyone can take points off Belgium in this group. We are still playing poor ball while Belgium looks great and very dynamic..

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17 hours ago, J1078 said:

We will not get a point against Belgium, they will dominate us from start to finish and put a couple by us. My only hope is to draw against Bosnia and only lose two games this qualification both being against Belgium. I'm also hoping Belgium beat Bosnia in Bosnia. I dont think anyone can take points off Belgium in this group. We are still playing poor ball while Belgium looks great and very dynamic..

 

match against us in Athens is gonna be irrelevant for them. Thats why we have a chance, considering our defence is good enough to keep them out when uninterested.

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Guys, Greece can beat Bosnia in Zenica. Bosnia is right at the same level with us oppose to Belgium, who are world class. 

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we can beat bosnia and we can get a point from belgium. best case scenario

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I love the optimism but I just don't see it.. we are slow through the middle of the park, don't have any true wingers that should be starting, and we have 1 decent striker in mitroglou. None of our midfielders are ball retrievers, they just sit back and none of them have created any chemistry. Fortounis is great and mitroglou is fine. But who are our wingers? Who will be played beside samaris? Will tzavellas be picked over stafylidis? And we plays rb if/when toro is injured?the depth is atrocious and a lot of it has to do with how the super league is run..

there should be a limit on non-Greeks per team. The fact the klonaridis was the first Greek to score for PAO days ago  is ridiculous.

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Samaris is the clear the starter in the midfield. I remember Bakasetas and Tachtsidis worked well together playing 1,2s. We can't play wingers who are not that level yet such as Manthatis or Tsilianidis for example. That's why we see Mantalos on the wing. I was hoping Bouchalakis would get more game time so he replaces the likes of Tziolis and Maniatis. Our midfield need to get it together or Mitroglou is going to be worthless. Unfortunately Karelis is not available in the Belgium match as he is a hard worker and runs heaps more than Mitroglou.

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21 hours ago, nick said:

I love the optimism but I just don't see it.. we are slow through the middle of the park, don't have any true wingers that should be starting, and we have 1 decent striker in mitroglou. None of our midfielders are ball retrievers, they just sit back and none of them have created any chemistry. Fortounis is great and mitroglou is fine. But who are our wingers? Who will be played beside samaris? Will tzavellas be picked over stafylidis? And we plays rb if/when toro is injured?the depth is atrocious and a lot of it has to do with how the super league is run..

there should be a limit on non-Greeks per team. The fact the klonaridis was the first Greek to score for PAO days ago  is ridiculous.

pao let go of karelis, ninis, and kaltsas in one season though. now our midfield is mostly foreigners. our backline has more greek blood.

I don't think we'll win this upcoming, but the game in athens we have a good shot. they'll likely not need the points, and we play best with our back against the wall. let's not forget, this is relatively the same belgium that couldn't take out the united states or wales in tourny football. teams that most ppl would think we have a fair shot to beat.

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-- SKIBBE SCOUTING DIMITRIS KOLOVOS & OLYMPIACOS’ YOUNG TALENT  --
 

Dimitris Kolovos has had a great season in Belgium, catching the eye of Greek National Team coach Michael Skibbe. In addition to Kolovos, Olympiacos’ young talent could be getting a call up to the Men’s team in the near future.

Dimitris Kolovos has had a great season in the Belgian Jupiler League for Mechelen and has caught the attention of Michael Skibbe. The 23-year old is on loan from Olympiacos and has made 21 league appearances while scoring four goals and 2 Cup appearances with one goal. He mainly plays behind the central forward, but is also capable of playing on the wings, a position that lacks players in our National Team.

Michael Skibbe is not keen on making changes to the National Team as he looks to keep his “closed club” strategy. However, as a couple of players remain without a team (Maniatis and Tziolis) and a crucial qualifier in Belgium approaches (March 25), Skibbe could make some new callups (ex. Kolovos) in positions that the Ethniki lacks.

The German coach has also started his scouting for the “future” of the Greek National Team as he attended Olympiacos’ game against Xanthi on Saturday (in addition to two other Superleague games over the weekend). Skibbe had eyes on Olympiacos’ 18-year old Retsos, 19-year old Androutsos, and 19-year old Manthatis.

The three youngsters have had a good season thus far (Manthatis scored against Xanthi) and have not let their opportunities on the pitch go to waste. The three players have earned the confidence of Olympiacos coach, Paulo Bento, and have rightfully drawn the attention of Michael Skibbe for a possible call up in the future. The three players are members of Greece’s Youth National Teams.

http://www.xxxyyyzzz (spam)/XXXxxxXXX (spam)-allnews/20170125-1

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I know there is a long way to go and the picture will be much clearer after June 9th, but we are in line for a playoff and here is how that stands:

POT 1:

Portugal (8), Italy (15), Iceland (23), Rep. of Ireland (24)

POT 2:

Slovakia (25), Northern Ireland (35), Sweden (45), Greece (46)

 

Even after rankings are updated for this round, the pots will look roughly the same. The current second place teams will certainly look different in November, but POR/SWI, ITA/SPA will be waiting in Pot 1. Priority is obviously securing a playoff spot, which will be a dogfight until the bitter end, but, as some other posters have brought up in other threads, it is paramount that we start climbing the rankings, and that may take scaling a couple of friendlies. The good news is that most of our negative results were bunched up two years ago and hold less weight moving forward, therefore victories in the next 6 months are crucial. 

Edited by Argy
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I did some calculations and it seems that this draw will boost our rankings, we'll be around 39th or so in the next update. Of course it's important not lose in Bosnia in order to make the playoffs at the first stage. I would prefer us going there to win the game so we could still have a shot at the first place by beating Belgium in Athens. That's the way the team should approach the games. 

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nabbing 1st from belgium would be glorious.

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The only chance of that happening was if we had held on for the win on Saturday. 

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we still can grab points from them in athens but they'll likely be tougher via hazard and de bruyne and they'll come at us harder

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We could, but I think that Saturday was our best shot and we couldn't close it out. Weak red card did not help. 

Greece should concentrate on Bosnia and not dropping useless points vs Cyprus or Estonia. 

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Estonia demolished Croatia yesterday in a friendly game, 3-0 the final result. Croats missed Modric, Rakitic and co but overall their squad was consisted of very capable players like Kovacic, Perisic, Kalinic etc. My point is since they seem to have the momentum going, Bosnia and (maybe) Belgium which both have to play in Tallinn, could possibly drop points there. Thankfully we have already beaten Estonia away, (we still have them at home though), perhaps they can be an X-factor in the group out of nowhere.  

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Belgium smashed them and I'm pretty sure they will have no problem beating them again. Bosnia smashed them as well.  On the other hand even though we one 2-0 I still think they out played us and had the better chances. Even though we were minutes away from beating Belgium I still strongly believe they are a lock for fist and the only chance Greece has to making the WC is through a playoff.  The Bosnia game is the biggest game and we better be prepared because they are going to seriously try and attack us and play for they will be playing for the win not the tie. I do think we need the mindset that we need the win but I would still play to our strengths and think defense first and attack when we get a chance on the counter. 

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