NEW | What Egypt should expect from the Greek national team
Egypt are set to go against Greece on Tuesday night in Switzerland as they prepare to avenge their last loss against them back in 1990.
Egypt’s record against Greece is a moderate one. The last time they faced each other was back in 1990 where Greece managed to pull off a big 6-1 friendly victory over the Egyptian side. They go head-to-head again 28 years later, this time with Egypt having one of the best players in the world among their ranks.
Johnny Georgopoulos, a journalist of the Greek Gazzetta, tells us more about the Greek national team, their style of play and what to expect from them.
“I expect the same recipe from Greece. A close game with special attention on defending. This is the big advantage of the Greek national team. No risks and obvious intention to strike on counter-attack. Also they will try to stop Salah. Coach Michael Skibbe has announced a few changes on the line-up by giving time to young players. The problem of Greece relates to the creativity on midfield, it’s very predictable team. The opponents know that if they stop Kostas Fortounis then it will be tough for Greece to create opportunities,” revealed Georgopoulos.
Regarding the defensive side of the game, he said: “In defense Greece is still solid but as we saw in the recent friendly match against Switzerland that wasn’t enough. Salah is in incredible shape and Egypt can score at least one goal. At the same moment there are some gaps in the center of Egypt’s defense and Greece will try to score but Mitroglou the most reliable striker of Greek football might not start tonight.”
Watford keeper Orestis Karnezis is set to start in goal for Greece. The last time he faced Mohamed Salah, the Liverpool winger put four past him to become the first Egyptian in history of the English Premier league to score three or more goals in one game.
“The most possible starting line-up is: Karnezis- Stafylidis, Tzavellas, Papastathopoulos, Bakakis – Zeca, Kourbelis- Donis, Bakasetas, Pelkas – Karelis,” said Georgopoulos.
National team duo Efthymios Koulouris and Dimitris Limnios are expected to miss the game through injury, but their absence is not going to affect Skibbe’s team.
“No I don’t think they will affect. Greece has several place on their position and the same time Skibbe wants to test some new players,” he continued.
Special plans will be made for Mohamed Salah, who scored from his only real opportunity a few days ago against Ronaldo’s Portugal. Egypt lost the match in the final kick of the game, just above 10 minutes after Salah was substituted off.
“Mohamed Salah at the moment is the best African player and one of the greatest in world. He is the Cristiano Ronaldo of Egypt. He is a world class player that can lead Egypt to another level. Before he gets the ball he already knows what will happen next. He is a magician and his fantastic performances with Liverpool speak for himself! For me better he’s a player than Harry Kane and De Bruyne. He is also very popular in Greece because of his friendship with Amr Warda who is called ‘Salah of Atromitos’»,” he revealed.
The Greek national team have failed to make it to the FIFA World Cup for the fourth time since 1998, after qualifying to the last two editions, which is why there are more motives for their Egyptian counterparts to play a big game as all players are looking to cement their positions ahead of the tournament.
On who is expected to win the match: “Ι think at this stage Egypt because of the World Cup has a better preparation in comparison with Greece. Egyptian players want to prove to Hector Raul Cuper that they deserve a place in the squad so they have big motives. I believe Egypt at least will score a goal. I am not sure if Greece will find the net but after the goalless draw against Switzerland, they will try this time to score. I give a slight advantage to Egypt. Prediction is 1-0 or 1-1 expecting from Karelis or Mitroglou to be a threat for Egypt’s defense,” he concluded.
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