Greece vs Republic of Ireland Preview
The Greece vs Republic of Ireland Preview is online, the match in Group B of Euro 2024 qualifying when they travel to Opap Arena to face Greece on Friday meeting.
The two nations are separated by just three places in the FIFA World Rankings, with the Boys in Green sitting 49th in the current standings and the Piratiko positioned three places further back in 52nd.
Greece made a strong start to their Euro 2024 qualification campaign when they secured a comfortable 3-0 victory against European minnows Gibraltar towards the end of March.
First-half strikes from Giorgos Masouras and Emmanouil Siopis were followed by a third from Anastasios Bakasetas just before the hour mark to put three points on the board early doors for Gus Poyet‘s side.
The Piratiko have failed to qualify for the last two Euros tournaments and they are up against it this time around to qualify from Group B, which contains both France and the Netherlands, but a victory on Friday coupled with a positive result against the latter on home soil next Monday would provide Poyet and co with optimism of securing a top-two spot. France have a meeting with Gibraltar on Euro 2024 qualifiers on today meetings.
Greece, who followed up their win over Gibraltar with a lacklustre goalless draw in a friendly at home against Lithuania, have never faced the Republic of Ireland in a competitive fixture before, but they have locked horns on three previous occasions in friendlies, including two 1-0 wins in November 2012 and April 2000.
The Piratiko have lost just one of their last 16 home matches across all competitions – a 1-0 defeat to Spain in November 2021 – and they have won three of their last four on their own turf which bodes well ahead of Friday’s contest. Spain had lost the match with Scotland with 2-0 on the Euro 2024 qualifiers
Team News and Injury
Greece boss Poyet is expected to name a strong starting lineup on Friday, which could see Liverpool left-back Kostas Tsimikas join Pantelis Chatzidiakos, Konstantinos Mavropanos and George Baldock in the back four.
Captain Bakasetas has the most caps (55) and most goals (11) of any player within Poyet’s current squad and the 29-year-old is set to operate in an advanced midfield role just in front of Siopis and Petros Mantalos.
Vangelis Pavlidis and Giorgos Giakoumakis will battle for the centre-forward spot either side of wingers Masouras and Dimitris Pelkas.
As for Republic of Ireland, Chiedozie Ogbene has not been selected in Kenny’s 25-man squad as he is still recovering from a hamstring tear, but midfield duo Alan Browne and Jeff Hendrick have been called up after shaking off fitness concerns.
Kenny has notably left out experienced quartet Robbie Brady, Connor Hourihane, Shane Duffy and Enda Stevens, while Celtic’s Liam Scales and Peterborough United’s Jack Taylor are two uncapped players who will be hoping to make their international debut on Friday.
Brighton & Hove Albion starlet Evan Ferguson scored his first international goal in March and could be handed a start in attack alongside either Troy Parrott, Michael Obafemi or Adam Idah, the latter of whom is yet to score for the Boys in Green after 14 appearances.
The two teams have met three times thus far, with all meetings being friendlies. The hosts have enjoyed an unbeaten run against the visitors, with a couple of wins and one game ending in a goalless draw.
They last met at the Aviva Stadium in a friendly in 2021, with Greece recording a 1-0 away win. All three meetings between the two sides have produced under 2.5 goals, with the hosts keeping three clean sheets and scoring just two goals in these games.
The hosts have kept clean sheets in their last two games as well. Greece are unbeaten in their last five home games, keeping three clean sheets in that period.
The visitors have just one win in their last four away games and have scored one goal apiece in their last three games.
The hosts are one of the nine teams which are yet to concede a goal in the competition thus far, while the visitors are one of the 11 teams that are yet to open their goalscoring account.
Greece vs Republic of Ireland
Stephen Kenny has urged his Republic of Ireland side to claim a ‘historic away victory’ on Friday, but coming out on top against a Greece side who boast an impressive home record could prove challenging.
A tight affair could be on the cards in Athens, but we believe that the hosts will do enough to claim maximum points and maintain their prefect start in Group B.