Greece Team - 2014 World Cup Betting
Best Finish: Group Play, 1994, 2010
Manager: Fernando Santos
Captain: Giorgios Karagounis
Key Player: Kostas Mitroglou (Olympiacos)
Group C: With Colombia, Ivory Coast (C?te d'Ivoire) and Japan
Greece isn't traditionally known as a soccer powerhouse and there's good reason for that. They made their first World Cup appearance in 1994 and were embarrassed in the process, losing three matches by a combined score of 10-0. Their second Cup trip came four years ago, whey they beat Nigeria, but lost to Argentina and South Korea and failed to advance out of the group stage.
The one solace that Greece can take right now is that they've made back-to-back trips to the Cup. As for how they made the 2014 World Cup, this team finished 8-1-1 (W-D-L) in UEFA Group G play. Nobody will accuse the Greeks of looking pretty during qualification matches since they only scored 12 goals in the 10 matches. This actually made their road a lot tougher because Bosnia and Herzegovina beat them out for the automatic qualifying bid. Greece defeated Romania 3-1 and tied them 1-1 during the two-legged playoffs and advanced to Brazil.
As alluded to by the 12 goals in UEFA Group G play, this team plays an ugly, defensive style. But it's this style that also helped them hold opponents to just four goals, which tied for Europe's best. One big reason why the Greeks rely so heavily on their back line is due to the talents of Kyriakos Papadopoulos and Sokratis Papastathopoulos. These two central defenders are both physical and they cause major headaches for opposing strikers.
If teams do get past the Greek defense, this squad could be in some major trouble. They don't offer a lot of talent in the midfield or upfront. But center-forward Konstantinos Mitroglou could be developing into a go-to player for Greece. The heavily-tattooed Olymipacos man scored two goals in the qualifying stages and has been improving all along the way. If the 26-year-old can peak during the Cup, he could provide Greece with much-needed offense.
Dimitris Salpingidis might also find the goal during group play. He had three during UEFA Group G matches and is definitely a formidable winger. Other than this, though, don't look for Greece to be on the attack too much, instead relying on strong defense and quick counterstrikes to generate offense.