قطر ( Qatar)

Discussion in 'Greece & Cyprus' started by SF19, Nov 2, 2020.

  1. SF19

    SF19 Member

    Jun 8, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    Greece
    The group draw for World Cup qualification is being held on December 7th. Greece is probably being drawn from pot 3, but must still get good results in the remaining Nation League games to secure a place in that pot.

    The likeliest path to qualification is through the play-offs, but even if Greece finishes runner-up or succeeds via the convoluted Nations League path, it will still be difficult since only 3 of the remaining 12 from the play-offs round will qualify for the finals proper.

    Given the state of the team, the odds are stacked against Greece; with help from the Gods and through sheer determination, however, anything possible. I'd be happy if the team manages a respectable showing.
     
  2. SF19

    SF19 Member

    Jun 8, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    Greece
    A win against Slovenia today should secure a pot 3 place for the World Cup draw and will ensure promotion to League B of the Nations League. Fortounis will need to deliver again as he did against Moldova if Greece is to have any chance. Best of luck to our boys and staff. May they do our country proud.
     
  3. SF19

    SF19 Member

    Jun 8, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    Greece
    A drab draw that sees Slovenia top the group. Fair play to Slovenia who fully deserve their success. Greece may yet keep hold of a place in pot 3 come the World Cup draw.

    For Greece to be properly competitive Manolas has to return. His aerial presence on corner kicks today was sorely needed and may very well have proved the difference given how difficult it was for Greece to carve out good chances. As much I respect van't Schip, he is making a big mistake leaving him out.
     
  4. SF19

    SF19 Member

    Jun 8, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    Greece
    Greece will be allocated into pot 3. The pots are allocated as follows. If not for Bosnia's loss to Italy and Finland's loss to Wales, Greece probably would have been in pot 4. Slovenia too could have stolen are place in pot 3 if we had lost.

    Pot 1: Belgium, France, England, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands

    Pot 2: Switzerland, Wales, Poland, Sweden, Austria, Ukraine, Serbia, Turkey, Slovakia, Romania

    Pot 3: Russia, Hungary, Republic of Ireland, Czech Republic, Norway, Northern Ireland, Iceland, Scotland, Greece, Finland

    Pot 4: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Israel, Belarus, Georgia, Luxembourg

    Pot 5: Armenia, Cyprus, Faroe Islands, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Lithuania, Latvia, Andorra

    Pot 6: Malta, Moldova, Liechtenstein, Gibraltar, San Marino
     
  5. SF19

    SF19 Member

    Jun 8, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    Greece
    Group B: Spain, Sweden, Greece, Georgia, Kosovo

    Under Luis Enrique, Spain have become unplayable once more. They're loaded with talented players, all of whom are match winners, and their approach will force any team, no matter how good, to defend in numbers.

    The Sweden I have known were generally physical and direct. They have produced some fine players over the years, most notably Gunnar Nordahl, Thomas Brolin, Henrik Larsson, and of course Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Right now I can't name anyone quite as talented as those three among their ranks, but they do have a couple of up and coming players, Alexander Isak is probably the one who stands out most. They have an experienced manager, but my impression is he prefers a conservative game.

    Greece has really reinvented herself under van't Schip and even if we fail to nab second place, I think we can expect our boys to put on a some competent and even exciting performances. I only hope van't Schip can mend his bridges with Manolas because there's no doubt his presence would make an enormous difference. I think Sokratis too still has a role to play when we get hard pressed.
     
  6. SF19

    SF19 Member

    Jun 8, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    Greece
    The latest updates on our goalkeepers and defenders.

    Goalkeepers:

    Barkas has fallen out of favor at Celtic since picking up an injury after a loss to Rangers. He hasn't inspired a great deal of confidence for his club when he has played and it would seem he's still adjusting to life outside of Greece.

    Vlachodimos has been in decent form with Benfica, recovering well from his poor showing at the start of the season with that loss to Porto in the Supercup.

    Paschalakis, nominally Greece's other starting keeper, is on his way out of PAOK and is currently being shopped.

    Defenders:

    Tsimikas has rarely featured for Liverpool. They always have players coming through their own ranks, born and bred in Liverpool, and I personally think it will be difficult for him to continue long term at the club. I think he should consider a move elsewhere this summer or his career will suffer for it.

    Giannoulis looks destined for bigger and better things. He spent some time on the sidelines with a pulled hamstring, but other than that he has been playing rather regularly and even got an assist in his recent outing, a 2-1 win over old rivals Panathinaikos. He had to work hard for that assist and positionally he was so advanced you wouldn't have thought he was a left-back. This guy can get up and down a pitch like nobody else.

    Stafylidis remains out of action after that pulled shoulder injury he suffered in the Nations League.

    Lykogiannis, a left-back plying his trade with Cagliari, scored from a direct free-kick for the Sardinians in a draw with Udinese. You can see the goal below:


    (the goal can be seen at around the 45 second mark)

    Kyriakopoulos is another one of our left-backs turning heads. His club are currently sitting among the cream of the crop in Italy. Sassuolo are punching well above their weight. He lost his place for the match against AC Milan, but he came on the second half in a losing effort and has since played the full 90 minutes in the 3-2 win over Sampdoria. He's still maturing and growing as a player, but he's on the right track and van't Schip has tried to shoehorn him into the Greek eleven a couple of times now.

    Hatzidiakos recently made his 100th appearance for Alkmaar. His club are sitting in fifth place and have reached the latter stages of the Europa League. I haven't really seen him play, but the times I have he has looked good. Always eager to challenge for ball and prove his worth. He's one to watch.

    Manolas has looked assured and almost unbeatable when called upon, but Napoli have been making costly individual errors. Maksimovic has lacked confidence and match fitness, something that cost Napoli in the loss to Lazio. There was also Insigne's unnecessary sending off and Ospina's goalkeeping error that led to the penalty, and the defeat, against Inter. They have also dropped points against mid-table sides like Torino. Van't Schip has to stop making excuses for leaving him out of the national team. Frankly, he's making the wrong decision leaving him out.

    Retsos has barely played since making the loan move to Saint-Etienne. He's been injured since October. Those niggling injury issues have been a killer. It's a shame for someone so versatile and dependable in defense.

    Mavropanos was superb in Stuttgart's 5-1 win over Dortmund. Like Retsos, he seems to always be injured: he picked up a muscle strain recently that kept him out of the loss to Wolfsburg. He's one to watch.

    Sokratis remains out of favor at Arsenal and it would appear he's on his way out this January. Napoli are rumored to be interested. I still think he has something to offer, but his athleticism has been on the wane. His acceleration and vertical leap are things he should work at and improve. If not, he needs make up for it with better positional awareness. A warrior though, through in through, but his time with Greece may be over for good.

    Siovas would have been playing in second division Spain had it not been for the caps he was given with Greece. That goal against Kosovo saved him. He currently plays at Huesca who are bottom of the table. They often play spoiler, drawing games, but have only won once all season, with their only losses coming to top of table Real Madrid, Real Sociedad, and mid-table Athletic Bilbao. He has been playing non-stop for them, featuring in every minute since he has signed. Siovas is a left-footed player, a quality all too lacking among Greek center-backs. Van't Schip I think was wrong to banish him from the national team, but his time was coming to an end.

    Svarnas has played somewhat regularly for AEK, but he didn't feature in big matches against PAOK and Olympiacos. His performances in Europe have reflected those of the team overall. AEK have been really poor. The times I have seen him with Greece he has played well enough to at least merit consideration, but he is not someone at this stage in his career Greece can depend on. He needs to keep working to grow and improve as a player.

    Michailidis of PAOK has barely featured in Europe this season, but has had plenty of opportunities in Greece. He's not ready to play for national men's team and should continue his development at the u21 level for now. He seems to be a bright spot and his natural left-foot gives him an advantage.

    Stergiou of St. Gallen was born in Switzerland to Greek and Serbian parents. He is eligible to play for three countries, but so far has played for his country birth at every youth level. His club were the surprise package of Swiss football last season, top of the table pre-lockdown. I'm not sure he will ever feature for Greece. Ioannis Amanatidis was an assistant manager at St.Gallen before leaving for a role at PAOK. It's plausible he could influence his decision.

    Bakakis is just about the only right-back Greece has, but maybe through sheer grit and determination he can prove his worth. Greece is in need of an upgrade in this area of the pitch, but under van't Schip, Bakakis has grown in confidence and proven that we are not necessarily desperate for one.

    We are really thin on options here. Beyond Bakakis there is Rota, but he didn't seem to leave any impression with van't Schip upon his call up. He is Albania, but born in Greece. He seems to be playing regularly in Holland, but his club remain firmly in the bottom half of the table. Then there is Mavrias, but his career has been petering out since he left Panathinaikos for Sunderland in 2013. Greece must seek out other options in this position.
     
  7. SF19

    SF19 Member

    Jun 8, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    Greece
    Midfielders:

    Zeca, the captain of Copenhagen FC, has been something of an ever present figure for club and adopted country. He fell out of favor with van't Schip after the colossal error that saw Liechtenstein draw with Greece in the 90th minute, but he appears to be back in the coach's good graces. He seems to always find that extra gear when you expect tiredness to have a toll on him. Dare I say, he's superhuman in that respect. He has pretty much played in every single match for his club, save for two losses when he was suspended with a red card. His club trail the league leaders Midtjylland, whom his club lost to in his absence, by 7 points as they currently sit 6th from the top.

    Kourbelis, who replaced Zeca as captain of Panathinaikos, scored what proved to be the winning goal over city rivals AEK. It was mishit, but he did well to make the late run and he showed good anticipation. That being said, I think Mantalos was a danger man and maybe he could have reacted more quickly or he could have shouted to a teammate to simply foul him. I felt against Olympiacos he should have kept track of Fortounis and should have made sure that he or someone else was paying attention to Fortounis when he made that run to score on the rebounded effort. It's these sort of things he needs to constantly work it. These are dangerman who need require special attention and who need to be fouled and harrassed. He needs to concentrate and take no prisoners.

    Bouchalakis was largely at fault for the loss to Porto. Olympiacos stood a real chance of making progression in the group, but Porto showed more grit and Olympiacos were sloppy. For someone who was made captain, you expect a lot more from him.

    Siopis has been a regular starter for Alanyaspor, where he plays alongside Tzavellas and Bakasetas. I have not seen him really play and can't comment much.

    Galanopoulos was something of a revelation in the 2-1 win over Finland in what was a dead rubber Euro qualifying game. Since then he has suffered badly from injury and has not played regularly for AEK. He has only played one full game so far this season in a 4-2 Europa League loss to Braga

    Bakasetas saw his stock rise significantly since making the move to Turkey. I have to admit I had my doubts about him in the past and even this season I thought he would struggle now that the manager who signed him over to Turkey left for Fenerbahce. He is certainly proving his doubters like myself wrong. Most notably, he scored twice in a vital win over Besiktas. His club Alanyaspor currently reside in the top five with 27 points at the midway point of the season. In fact they were the league leaders before a loss in their most recent game knocked them down to third.

    Mantalos was being offered to some clubs in the Middle East during the summer, but he ultimately stayed put. Like Galanopoulos, he played an absolute blinder in the 2-1 win over Finland and has been a key figure to van't Schip's plans ever since. He's someone with decent, albeit not great, technical class and who works hard on and off the ball for his team. Despite the loss to Panathinaikos, I felt he was still one of the best players on the park. However, his red card against Atromitos cost AEK that game and his suspension meant he was sorely missed in the following game in a loss to PAOK. He's undoubtedly a vital player for club and country.

    Pelkas signed for Fenerbahce after helping PAOK reach the final qualifying round of the UCL. He impressed me when he was at PAOK, but he has since fallen off my radar, but he often starts games and must be playing with aggression because he was suspended due to an accumulation of yellows for his most recent match.
     
  8. SF19

    SF19 Member

    Jun 8, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    Greece
    Forwards:

    Pavlidis hasn't been in the kind of form that saw him light up last season. His club have been stuttering. They currently sit in and around the relegation zone. It looks as if his coach has now switched him from a central position to the left wing.

    Koulouris made the switch to Toulouse, but they were relegated last season and now he competes in Ligue 2! He wasn't in the squad for all of December, but he returned in a recent win over Paris FC. His form this season has been nonexistent: no goals, no assists.

    Fountas, like the others, is failing to find good form this season. Interestingly he played in a more withdrawn role in his team's latest win, providing an assist for the only goal of the game. Rapid Vienna now sit fourth in Austria, separated only by a point from the league leaders RB Salzburg.

    Donis has barely featured this season, mainly due to injury. He hasn't settled since leaving Stuttgart for Reims, the historic French club that gained her fame as finalist in the first ever European Cup final, losing to Real Madrid. Arguably our most gifted forward next to Limnios and Fortounis.

    Giakoumakis, in contrast to the others, has been scoring regularly since signing for VVV Venlo. He has scored 12 times this season in 16 appearances in both league and cup matches, but his club are dreadful. They lost 13-0 to Ajax and have only won twice all season!

    Limnios has been a shining star for Greece, more so than at PAOK, but since making the move to Koln he has not played regularly. He is mainly played as an impact player, if at all.

    Tziolis is a young star in the making at PAOK and has shown good progress this season, impressing a lot in the 3-1 win over Besiktas. However since then there has been less to be excited about. He's a young player still gaining experience and maturing. Luckily he is gaining valuable experience on the pitch at PAOK.

    Fortounis I imagine will play as a forward for Greece. I can't see van't Schip dropping Bakasetas, so Fortounis will probably play on the left wing in center forward. He's playing well but he never finishes the 90 minutes. This has been an issue with him for some time. He is generally viewed as the most gifted player of those currently considered for a place in the squad, but van't Schip hasn't gotten on well with the players from Olympiacos so far.

    Masouras has scored 6 times this season, which is a good return by his standards. He has rarely completed 90 minutes this season and lately he has been playing as a substitute.

    Mitroglou is rumored for a return to Olympiacos. I can't imagine he will be playing much any further. I think it's safe to say his playing days are nearly coming to an end.
     
  9. SF19

    SF19 Member

    Jun 8, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    Greece
    This Giakoumakis kid scored four today. Παιχταράς. He's now on 16 goals for the season.
     
  10. SF19

    SF19 Member

    Jun 8, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    Greece
    Bakasetas is really enjoying his football these days. He scored a brilliant goal for his new club and they've been in a strong form since he signed for them:



    The goal is reminiscent of this one he scored last year against Galatasaray.



    Ever since his move to Turkey, he has been something special. I used to doubt him and question his merits in the Greek national set-up, but not anymore. He proved me wrong and I'm all the happier for it. Bravo to Bakasetas.
     
  11. SF19

    SF19 Member

    Jun 8, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    Greece
  12. SF19

    SF19 Member

    Jun 8, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    Greece
    Tasos and Christos Donis both made their debuts at VVV-Venlo, the club where Giakoumakis has made his mark. Unfortunately the match ended in a 3-1 loss. I didn't catch the game, but there are some highlights that can be seen in the video below.

     
  13. SF19

    SF19 Member

    Jun 8, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    Greece

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