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Croatia - Greece ( Round 2, 1st Leg, 9 Nov. 2017, Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb )

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7 hours ago, Dean97 said:

I don't understand why Skibbe would panic like that by calling up 2 cbs instead if 1. Doesn't he realize he called up Papadopoulos and Retsos. Tzavellas can play in that position. Now we know Sokratis is fit to play. 

I suppose Fifa allowed him to call one extra for the Manolas incident and one extra for Sokratis who is not 100% certain. Although Knowing Sokratis I think he will be a starter injured or not.

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I thought the MRI showed it was clear, now it's up to him to get over the knock.  Regarding calling up two cbs, it doesn't matter who they are as they probably will not play.  We have Retsos and Papadopoulos as pretty much locks.  Skibbe can always shift Tzavellas there and play Staf as a left back. 

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1 minute ago, Brklyngrk said:

I thought the MRI showed it was clear, now it's up to him to get over the knock.  Regarding calling up two cbs, it doesn't matter who they are as they probably will not play.  We have Retsos and Papadopoulos as pretty much locks.  Skibbe can always shift Tzavellas there and play Staf as a left back. 

He also played Tziolis at CB for the end of the Gibraltar match. I think we are more than covered at that position. 

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I can't see a warrior like Sokratis missing out on these games with a spot in the World Cup on the line.

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6 hours ago, Rockafeller Skank said:

I suppose Fifa allowed him to call one extra for the Manolas incident and one extra for Sokratis who is not 100% certain. Although Knowing Sokratis I think he will be a starter injured or not.

he can call up as much as 25 players i think but in the end of the day the squad will be consisted of 23. probably he called up 2 because of manolas's suspension and sokratis' injury. the problem is why in those 2 players there's not siovas again. 

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I Just heard on the Greek radio station that Socratis is highly doubtful and Torosidis will most likely be out as well. Skibbe in a interview said "he cant believe Fifa would do this after a month he is so shocked and players all over the world do that all the time and waste time to get yellow cards to be clean for a certain game and its a completely wrong and surprising decision"  The team has been hammered and the confidence of the team is not as high with all of these injuries. You can sense this in Skibbes interview.

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Skibbe frustrated with FIFA’s decision to suspend Manolas
 

During Monday’s press conference, Michael Skibbe expressed his frustration with FIFA’s decision to hand Kostas Manolas a one-match suspension for deliberately picking up a yellow card in September's qualifier away to Cyprus.

The German boss stated that FIFA’s decision was wrong, mentioning that players around the world pick up cards on purpose in the final minutes of a game to waste time without further consequences. He went on to say that the decision came four weeks after the incident further adding to FIFA’s unacceptable handling of the situation.

In Monday’s press conference before the start of Greece’s first training session Skibbe stated “Surely we have some problems. We are playing against Croatia, a very good team with very good players, especially in their attacking line, and because of that, we will have to put up a great fight. The team is ready for these matches. We have some injury problems and we do not know what will happen with Papastathopoulos and Torosidis as both are doubtful at this point for the first leg. We also have two players that will surely not be with us, including Donis and Mantalos, with the later having suffered a very serious injury which truly saddened me.

The other problem we have is Manolas’ suspension. Sometimes FIFA makes some “special” decisions and this one is “special.” I do not know how they decided this. We were winning 1:2 against Cyprus and in the final minutes of a game, every team across the world would tell its players to pick up a yellow card for time wasting. Every team wastes time. That is what happened with Manolas, he picked up a card late in the game against Cyprus and did not play against Gibraltar. And now FIFA decided, four weeks later, to punish him for something that ALL players do. What FIFA did was not right.

Despite that, we must play against Croatia and we must be ready. We have been working for two years for these matches and to go to Russia. We will play against Croatia, who has a very good team, but we will also fight with the players we have available in order to qualify for the World Cup.”
 

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I can't recall the last time a decision like this one vs Manolas was made, especially just before a World Cup playoff. 

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15 minutes ago, Ellada2004 said:

I can't recall the last time a decision like this one vs Manolas was made, especially just before a World Cup playoff. 

It's never been done that's the BS part.. especially waiting a month after the fact and to see if Manolas was healthy and picked for the squad looks pretty shady to me..

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Ya the odds are insane they're literally giving Greece no chance at all.. The odds are as if Croatia is playing a minnow..

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Hi everyone!

As you can realize from my name, I'm a Croat, and I've joined this forum to discuss the upcoming games with you guys - it's always fun and interesting to see how the other side sees the things. :)
Before anything else, I'd like to point out Greece is not being underestimated - neither by Croatian press or Croatian supporters. It's true there are 2 coaches who said something like "We will go through, no doubt about it" (someone mentioned this on the first pages of this topic), but these two are old, currently unemployed coaches who are just seeking for some extra attention. Before the draw, when people were asked about what team would they want Croatia to play against in the Playoffs, answer one would get most often was: "Anyone, just not Greece." So, your team has all the respect here.
I don't know if you're aware of this, but the atmosphere around Croatian football team is quite bad. Our FA is corrupted, the championship is irregular, some leading persons are dealing with very serious accusations (some already at the court) etc. Fans want them to leave so hard, the team was sabotaged many times (crowd trouble during Italy-Croatia game; swastika drawn during Croatia-Italy game; flares thrown during EURO2016 game vs. Czech Republic). The players are being quiet about it, pretending everything is ok, which annoys the fans, and many have turned their back on the team, refusing to support it. So, our situation is far from good.
Also, the weather forecast for Thursday is quite bad. Having in mind Zagreb stadium is a complete mess (in every aspect), and the fact your team will probably be focusing on defense, these conditions might be suiting you.
 

Edited by Kroates
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Got a feeling sokratis will play just don't how our defence will be without manolas and torosidis! Yes torosidis is reaching the end of a great career but he has always created a spark when needed

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milan badelj (croatian midfieler, fiorentina) will be out of the game.

and there's nothing official about torosidis so far, neither sokratis. 

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Well, I hope the Pirates B team can get the job done. Manol and Sok probably out, Tziolara in for cover-that's about even.

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1 hour ago, ausgreek said:

Well, I hope the Pirates B team can get the job done. Manol and Sok probably out, Tziolara in for cover-that's about even.

No indication that Sokratis is out. 

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Kroates - Welcome to the forum!

I did see before the draw that a few of your nationals did say that.  Greece is currently going through an injury bug (we will be without our two starting wingers) and FIFA just suspended one of our best defenders (our other starting cb is in a race for fitness) for a rule that has never been enforced before. I guess the circumstances are less then ideal for both our teams.

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Brklyngrk - efharisto poly!

As Boxou mentioned, Badelj is definitely out, but seems Mandzukic (Juventus) as well. If so, he will probably be substituted with Kalinic (AC Milan).

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Mandzukic will be fit, it is being reported today and pretty much official. 

Edited by Argy

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17 hours ago, PAOKARA said:

Anyone seen the odds for this game? You'll think Greece are San Marino by looking at them.

It's 33% for Greece to win the whole shebang no? I think that's fair odds.

66% chance for a draw first game. If we can get a draw in Croatia I think it shifts to us being favourites. Especially when we get Manolas back. That's the equivalent of them missing Rakitic.

Edited by georgelaz

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if we get a scoreless draw we're not favorites. because in case we concede a goal at home we'd need 2 and basically we'd have little chance of achieving that. if it's an 1-1 draw then i'd gladly take it. but for god's sake let's avoid the score less draw, it's a double edged sword in such games..

Edited by Boxou

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I would just want to avoid the lose.. 0-0 isn't ideal because it forces us to win if Croatia scores in Athens  but considering we will be with out Manolas and maybe either Socratis or Toro id take it. other then us winning witch I don't see because we will have very limited chances a 0-0 draw is what the team will be playing for.

Edited by J1078

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Bet365 has a Croatia win at 1.36, then 4.60 for a draw and a Greece win at 13.00. So what. Not long ago we came through with a lot worse odds than that. Greece has been written off before. That's good. Good thing is we still have a fit, Karnezis, Tzavellas, K Pap, Retsos,  Stafylidis, Tziolis, Zeca, Samaris, Tachtsides, Laz, Bakasetas, Fortounis, Gianniotas and Mitroglou.

K Pap and Tziolis experience are going to be key. In the absence of Toro, Soc (maybe) and Manolas, they will need to play smart, and show as leaders on the field. Backs, are firmly against the wall.

Yes. It would be awesome if we could catch them by surprise, and counter with an away goal or two.

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