Euro 2012: The Contenders – Greece




Devoid of big stars and players from big clubs, Group A is easily the weakest pool of the four comprising of Euro 2004 Champions Greece, co-hosts Poland, unpredictable Russia and the erratic Czech Republic.

Euro 2012: The Contenders - Greece

Euro 2012: The Contenders – Greece

On form, the Czech Republic are expected to qualify for the second round along with former champions Greece but the Russians led by Andrei Arshavin are no walkovers and with a partisan crowd supporting them, Poland do make Group A much more evenly matched.

Greece:

After Angelo Chariestas’ header shocked the world and Europe in particular as they won the European Championships in 2004, Greece haven’t done much since to remain a potent force in international football. But the crisis hit country managed to qualify for the Championships for the third straight time, a remarkable achievement considering that they qualified only once in the 40 years between 1960 and 2000. Greece went to Austria and Switzerland in 2008 as defending champions and had to face the ignominy of being knocked out in the group stages. After the reins were handed over to Fernando Santos in 2010, Greece sailed through the qualifiers by not only topping the pool but by remaining unbeaten throughout, thus making the Greeks the favorites in an evenly matched Group A, where they face co-hosts Poland, Russia and Czech Republic.

Key Player: Greece’s fortunes in the Championships depend heavily on the form Sotiris Ninis, who recently signed a new deal for Italian side Parma. After making a blistering start to the season last year, Ninis suffered a serious knee injury which put him out of action for five months. His injury though didn’t prevent Greece from qualifying for the Euros and Santos would hope that Ninis can recapture the form which put him on the radar of Manchester United and other big European clubs earlier this year.

Other Stars: Kostas Chalkias, Georgios Samaras

Prediction: Quarterfinals, after a surviving a evenly matched group.

Greece, after the 2008 disaster, have come through after an unbeaten qualifying campaign and would be thanking their stars for being slotted in one of the weakest pools. Putting on your money on Greece to come through the group stages should be a safe bet.

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Monish Menon

Author:

Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid and I invest all my non-existent free time by watching, playing, writing and analyzing various sporting events across the world. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.wordpress.com

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