Euro 2012 Quarter Finals Betting Preview – Germany v Greece

June 21st, 2012 | Posted by in Euro 2012

Euro2012 quarter final action between the heavyweights Germany and Greece, long shot underdogs and with everything that is happening in Greece with the euro this should be a fiery game. This Preview by GMorgan at Sportingbet Australia for the game Germany v Greece. Check out all the Euro 2012 betting odds from a number of European, Australian and International online sports books.

Germany v Greece – Arena Gdansk, Gdansk – Friday 22nd June 2012

Germany vs Greece  – Betting Odds from leading bookmakers and Online Sportsbooks

Given the wretched run of misfortune they had endured in the first two games of the tournament, there was an element of justice being served when Greece helped turn Group A on its head and secure a surprise berth in the last eight with their 1-0 victory over Russia.

And yet even in the midst of their wild post-match celebrations, the men in blue and white were left rueing the fact that their talismanic skipper and most influential player, Giorgos Karagounis would miss the Quarter-Final clash with Germany having been harshly handed his second yellow card of the tournament.

The Panathinaikos midfielder was desperately unfortunate to be cautioned for simulation when he looked to have a strong claim for a second-half penalty and although his subsequent hysterical reaction did neither himself nor his team any favours, he, of all the Greek players, deserves to be participating in what is the country’s biggest football occasion since their shock triumph at Euro 2004.

Having lost Sokratis Papastathopoulos to two very soft yellow cards in their opening game against Poland, Fernando Santos’ side could be forgiven for feeling that they have received a rough ride from the officials at this tournament.

And yet with the whole Greek nation delighting in the team’s success as a welcome distraction from the economic catastrophe currently engulfing the country, Santos has managed to foster a strong us-against-the-world mentality within his playing group which has already helped his charges to exceed the expectations of perhaps even themselves.

This approach even seems to have filtered through to Giorgos Samaras, a man not exactly renowned for his work rate and commitment to the cause.

Prior to the Russia game, the Celtic striker had looked casual, sluggish and at times, downright lazy, but against Russia he was a man transformed. Tracking back, putting his body on the line, holding the ball up superbly and terrorising the Russian defence with his movement, the pony-tailed striker was arguably his side’s man of the match, leaving many observers to ponder why he produces such performances so infrequently.

In terms of early team news, Grigoris Makos of AEK Athens may well be used to try and fill the void left by Karagounis, but otherwise Santos is expected to keep faith with the side that did such a splendid job against Russia.

The Greeks’ tactics are also likely to be fairly similar, namely defending doggedly and in numbers, but also breaking quickly at every given opportunity and the likes of Samaras and Dimitris Salpingidis will be charged with testing out Germany’s perceived vulnerability in whichever full-back spot is not occupied by the versatile Philip Lahm.

With several of Greece’s likely starters currently plying their trade in the Bundesliga, they should also not go short of inside information on their more favoured opponents and a fascinating tactical battle looks to be in prospect.

Germany coach Joachim Loew, meanwhile, will be keen to ensure that his side do not underestimate the Greek challenge and avoid looking ahead towards a Semi-Final date with either England or Italy.

In fairness, complacency has not often been an issue since Loew took the reins back in 2006 and he will have taken careful note of how Greece prevailed against a more technically-gifted Russia side due to their greater work-rate and defensive organisation.

And while the likes of Lars Bender, Andre Schurrie, Miroslav Klose and Toni Kroos did little wrong when thrust into the fray in the final group game against Denmark, Friday should see Loew revert to the eleven that started the victory over Netherlands.

With no fresh injury or suspension concerns to deal with, the Euro 1996 winners are travelling very nicely just at the moment and worryingly for their prospective title rivals, still have room for improvement.

Mesut Ozil, for example, has yet to recapture his very best form, Mario Gotze, arguably the most naturally gifted player in the squad, has yet to be unleashed at all at this tournament and having been troubled at set-pieces by the Danes in particular, Hummels, Badstuber and co will also look to tighten up considerably in this area, starting in Gdansk on Friday.

In terms of unpicking Greece’s massed defence, one of the keys for Germany will be to draw players out, opening up the gaps that Thomas Mueller, Lukas Podolski and Ozil can exploit and both Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira have excelled at doing exactly that during the group phase games.

In keeping with the flexibility that is such a strength of the men in white, the two central midfielders have taken turns to push on from their holding positions to great effect and unless Greece can keep them penned in, they could be in for a long night of desperate defending.

Of course should Germany fall into the trap of over-committing men forward, the Greeks have already shown that they are a real menace on the break, but the likes of Samaras, Salpingidis and Fanis Gekas simply must tuck away even any half-chances that come their way, because sights of the German goal are likely to be few and far between.

With their never-say-die attitude and sharpness on the counter-attack, there is no denying that Greecewill provide a test for Germany, but it’s very hard to make a case for them causing what would a mighty upset.

The German juggernaut to roll on with a hard-fought win.

Prediction: Germany 2-0 Greece

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