Greece Euro Cup Betting Prediction – The Greeks Look To Shock The World Once Again
Not many online betting sharps had Greece winning the European Champion in 2004 in Portugal, where they had to beat the hosts not once, but twice, but the Ethniki stood their ground in one of the biggest upsets in the history of the tournament. The Greeks come into this summer’s edition with decent odds to get out of their group, and they should be considered to make it to the knockout stage.
Manager: Fernando Santos (since July 2010)
Best Euro Finish: Champions (2004)
Soccer Betting Odds: +400 to win Group A, +5000 to win Euro 2012
Greece scored 14 goals as they won seven and drew three in their 10 qualification matches to top Group F, with Ioannis Fetfatzidis and Kyriakos Papadopoulos scoring two goals apiece in 2011. Fetfatzidis plays his club football in Greece and has been compared to Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, and the Greeks will need the precocious 21-year-old to raise his game and attack the opposition from the wing. Papadopoulos is only 20 and can play in midfield or defense, but he has a nose for the goal. However, the Greeks will need to get some production out of their strikers, Dimitrios Salpigidis and Georgios Samaras, who scored one goal between them in 2011 for the national team and that simply isn’t going to cut it.
Georgios Karagounis captains the side and the 35-year-old is five caps away from tying the all-time Greek mark of 120 set by Theodoros Zagorakis, the man he replaced as the defensive shield and like Zagorakis, he is excellent at turning the team from defense to attack. He had three assists in six games in 2012 and he’ll be crucial to Greece’s soccer betting chances this summer. Think of him as a Greek version of Italy’s Andrea Pirlo, but with more bite in the tackle.
The Greeks gave up just five goals in their 10 matches and going back to the Euro title in 2004, Greece is a defensive squad who looks to close out their opponents and then hit on the counter. Again, Karagounis will be important in this respect as he sits in front of the defense, but he’ll be even more important as keeper Alexandros Tzorvas has just 29 caps, although he’ll be bolstered by his experience in South Africa in 2010. Their defense looks to be in good shape with Socratis Papaststhopoulos, Vasiliis Torosidis, Avraam Papadopoulos, along with Kyriakos Papadopoulos, and the midfield will probably a little help from Kostas Katsouranis, although he’ll likely push forward more with Karagounis in the side.
This group will be tested from the start against the co-hosts from Poland, and they’ll have to be at their best because Poland will receive a massive boost from the home crowd and quite frankly, we’re not sure how often the Greeks will be able to find the back of the net, so it’s imperative that the defense holds firm and doesn’t stray out of position. Their discipline will be the key to their soccer betting chances this summer.
Santos took over the team from Otto Rehhagel, who will forever be a Greek hero for leading the team to the Euro title in 2004, and he has tried to institute a little more offense into the side. However, he played right back, so defense is obviously going to be a priority and he knows that he doesn’t have the firepower to compete with the upper tier. Crafting the right gameplan to keep his team in the match will be a tough task for Santos, but the team has responded to him and they played extremely well in qualifiers. They have every chance to get out of their group as well, so keep an eye on Santos and his plans this summer.
How It Will Play Out
The Greeks are rated at +400 to come out on top of Group A with Russia, Poland and the Czech Republic, while coming in at +5000 to win the tournament. That may be a bit ambitious for the Greeks, but we also what happened in 2004 and once you get out of the group stages, anything can happen if a team believes in themselves, their coaches and their gameplan.
There isn’t a lot between the four teams in this group and it’s going come down to the wire, and we think Greece has enough to get through to the knockout stages. Laying a little on them to win their group wouldn’t be a bad bet at all, although picking Greece to win the 2012 European Championship may be asking too much of their 2012 Euro Cup betting chances.