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Road To Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup


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7 hours ago, georgelaz said:

I do have a feeling we're gunna get Denmark. Greece is probably the best unseeded team, so if fifa does pull of shaninigans they'll want us to face the Danes so we don't threaten the other seeded teams.

 

I was thinking that too, they will put Italy vs Ireland or North Ireland and that will get them through and I don’t see Italy or Croatia getting Sweden either. 

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We need to be careful who we wish for obviously there are certain teams we want and don't want. Lets see who we get and then go from there as who ever we get will be difficult and we will be rated the underdogs. I do feel like the Greek players are a family again and yes we can thank Skibbe, Sokratis and Torosidis for that as they pulled the boys in and had a big talk with them. I truly feel who ever we get the Greeks will again play with passion and put there heart into it. We may be the lowest ranked team going into the playoffs but in big games we play our asses off and I truly believe we can play with all 4 off the seeded team and give them a good run and sneak through..

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I saw them talking about playoffs on Espn Fc and they were saying nobody want to draw Greece as we will stifle the seeded teams with our “boring” defensive approach. Hisslop gives us the best chance to progress from the non seeded teams. 

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22 minutes ago, paokara777 said:

You guys are so sure FIFA is going to sabotage this draw :animaatjes-confused-1124061:

I personally don't think they will sabotage the draw at all. But I do think who ever Italy plays the refs will be giving Italy every advantage to win the game as Fifa needs the Italians in the tournament.  

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45 minutes ago, pash said:

The draw won't be staged. Not as sure about the ref, but I doubt that'll be an issue as well. If we lose, it'll be because we don't know how to score.

it will be in favor of italy for the reason i explained above. 

other than that i agree. that's why denmark suits us better as a team with less offensive firepower than rest of them.

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Denmark’s whole attack flows through Eriksen just neutralize him and who can do any damage? Maybe Bendtner, but he in not the player he once was. Defensively they have no big name players. Drawing Denmark will give us the best chance to punch our ticket to the World Cup.

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hopefully it was denmark. I think we were lucky the two playoffs we went through cuz we were high ranking and therefore seeded for most tournys past decade until our botched euro 2016 campaign.

ukraine and romania are significantly easier to beat than switzerland, italy, or croatia.

denmark is about same level, so let's hope we get them.

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11 hours ago, Ellada2004 said:

Denmark’s whole attack flows through Eriksen just neutralize him and who can do any damage? Maybe Bendtner, but he in not the player he once was. Defensively they have no big name players. Drawing Denmark will give us the best chance to punch our ticket to the World Cup.

They also have Poulsen, who is dangerous and may cause us problems.

Defensively they have Kvist, a defensive midfielder who's had a solid career, and kjaer, who plays for sevilla. 

Their goalie is schmeicel of Leicester. He was instrumental in their title run in the 2015-16 season.

They definitely have other good players that I don't know of.

Denmark are in excellent form, having beaten montenegro, Poland and Armenia recently, the latter 2 in convincing fashion.

If we draw them, I would say our chances are 50/50. 

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If Greece was able to keep bosnian offence at 1 weird goal in 2 matches and the Belgian one at 3 we have nothing to fear from the Swiss and the Danish. We are obly inferior and the absolute underdog on paper against them. Italy is beyond our level. Only with good luck and lots of absences from their part can we hope to even look on par with them. Croats have defensive issues but their midfield dominating ours will surely keep us defending for the whole 180 mins. Qualifying is not the point here obviously. Presenting ourselves competitive will definately give a boost to psychology for the next csmpaign. Qualifying will be the kerasaki though.

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Haven't posted in awhile, but just wanted to say my 2 cents.

First off, congrats to the team for getting this far. From the outset, most would have predicted a 2nd place finish for us and that's what we got. We're still in with a chance whereas other good teams from our region are already out. 

Regarding the play-off, I think any of the seeded teams will give us a hard time. That said, with a little luck I could see us pulling it off against Denmark or Croatia. The Swiss and Italians would likely beat us over 2 legs. 

Although I still think the team is pretty limited with only 2 elite-level players in the 11 (both of whom play on the back-line), the style has at least improved a bit from the dysfunctional donkey-ball we used to play under Santos (at least from the few games I've seen). Case-in-point: the last game against Belgium, watch that first half again-> that's the kind of movement and build-up play that we are capable of. That's not to say that we're world-beaters or that Skibbe is some master tactician, just that the potential is there with this group (assuming form, fitness, etc.) to really surprise. Now if we can just cut the defensive lapses (I can't believe the acres of space that Belgian player had on the 2nd goal) we might just punch our ticket to Russia. 

 

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48 minutes ago, AEK86 said:

Haven't posted in awhile, but just wanted to say my 2 cents.

First off, congrats to the team for getting this far. From the outset, most would have predicted a 2nd place finish for us and that's what we got. We're still in with a chance whereas other good teams from our region are already out. 

Regarding the play-off, I think any of the seeded teams will give us a hard time. That said, with a little luck I could see us pulling it off against Denmark or Croatia. The Swiss and Italians would likely beat us over 2 legs. 

Although I still think the team is pretty limited with only 2 elite-level players in the 11 (both of whom play on the back-line), the style has at least improved a bit from the dysfunctional donkey-ball we used to play under Santos (at least from the few games I've seen). Case-in-point: the last game against Belgium, watch that first half again-> that's the kind of movement and build-up play that we are capable of. That's not to say that we're world-beaters or that Skibbe is some master tactician, just that the potential is there with this group (assuming form, fitness, etc.) to really surprise. Now if we can just cut the defensive lapses (I can't believe the acres of space that Belgian player had on the 2nd goal) we might just punch our ticket to Russia. 

 

Humble opinion: Swiss Italy and Croatia are better than Romania and Ukraine (obviously since they were unseeded and this draw has us being on the unseeded side). However I do believe that Greece rosterwise has improved as well.

A more mature Manolas who replaced Siovas and is now a starter irreplaceable player. Hoping to see Siovas back to the team after these playoffs are played for the tournament preparations. He seems to me like he is our 3rd-4th centerback behind Kyriakos Papadopoulos and with different attributes. Can't understand why he ain't here but some like Oikonomou and Koutroubis made it. Anyways back to the point.
A defensive midfielder in Zeca who can give Agility to the team and create an υπεραριθμια when attacking but also annying the organizer of the opposition. I do not rate Zeca defensively more than Katsouranis but honestly what was missing from that team was a midfielder who has the ability to cover space run and play as a 3rd CB while a few moments ago he was in the opposition box. 

Samaris is the other midfielder I suppose will be a starter. He wasn't playing there and I can not compare him with then Tziolis and Karagounis because the team was playing a 4-3-3 then and now its a 4-2-3-1. Surely more mobile but makes mistakes (Vertonghen goal in Piraeus).

Stafylidis after playtime is a complete step up after Holebas. No wonder Roma,Hamburg and Inter wanted him too but Augsburg just asked too much for a 22 year old prospect. This has literally f*cked him over though and I think I could see it in both games vs Cyprus and Gibraltar. He was running up and down whole games in the campaign before but couldn't keep up in these two matches. Hopefully the guy he forced to be benched whole season last year gets an injury (omg im literally wishing some guy to get injured) or his coach stops being a d!ck about a player wanting a bigger move, otherwise we ll miss a key player of this campaign. Anyways my point is Stafylidis is more into the game than Holebas. Holebas would usually do some 2-3 good atomic effords who could end up in goals or the woodwork but he wasn't as determined defensively. Maybe Stafylidis ponaei tin omada a lot more but I think Staf is going to be captain in the foreseeable future.

Another thing the team didn't have until 2014 was a proper attacking mid. Fortounis and Mantalos both stepped up. I do not agree with Skibbe into putting them both together but I believe his reason is "if one of them reaches his maximum potential in a game a goal can come out of nowhere." Mantalos pressures and helps defensively. He can't play on the wing but we are probably not expecting from any of the players we ll have there to do us any hattricks and score lots of  goals. I am satisfied with him since he knows he can't do much on the wing and sometimes cuts inside and instantly becomes a bigger threat.

Donis is another player we ve never had from the time i started following the NT. A second striker who has pace dribble  and can man-to-man defenders. I ve never seen a Greek National player do such a thing like he did vs Belgium at the beginning of the match (steal the ball pass 3 of the best CBs in the worlds and even manage to shoot).  Salpi and Samaris were never that fast. I believe this dude will link excellently in a 4-4-2 with Mitroglou but he is too young and makes lots of fast moves and mistakes.

Karnezis is Karnezis. He can make an incredible save (like vs Cyprus the most recent- which ended up with a goal with a second shot) but he can eat a goal that an amateur Goalie could have saved.

 

Overall I think the NT is looking bright and the roster has additions which change the way of our play.

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Denmark have been playing well recently even smashing Poland 4 -0. They turned there campaign around after early poor results. I would much rather face there midfield than Croatias with the likes of Modri, Rakitic,Persic. That said I think Greece could beat Croatia we have in the past and they play a similar style like the Bosnians. The Swiss are a well disciplined side have Shaqiri, Zhaka, Lichstiner. They had 9 wins but failed to qualify directly as they lost out to a strong Portuguese side. Italy are no where near there best ATM but as I have posted before they always qualify and I would be nervous if drawn against them. Denmark are our best route to qualification.

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^That’s my preferred order as well. I watched the Swiss vs  Portugal and they looked pretty disjointed and sloppy, they did not threaten Portugal much even though a tie would have put them through. Even though Greece own Portugal of late, I think had Portugal been in the playoff they would have been the hardest out. 

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