Greece vs Belgium preview

September 1, 2017
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

Greece remained in second place in spite of the failure to beat Estonia at home, but they are now virtually out of the race for the first place in the group.

Sitting six points clear at the top, Belgium can book their ticket to Russia with a win at Stadio Georgios Karaiskaki in Athens.

Greece have somewhat struggled after the remarkable Euro 2004 triumph, despite reaching four major tournaments in a row.

Ethniki then failed to qualify for the Euro 2016 and now hope to make amends by securing their place at the 2018 World Cup.

Greece enjoyed a very good start to the current campaign, defeating Gibraltar, Cyprus and Estonia in their first three fixtures, conceding just one goal in the process.

However, Ethniki have since shared spoils with Bosnia (twice) and Belgium, while they were also held to a goalless draw by minnows Estonia.

With Bosnia losing to Cyprus, Greece clearly missed their chance to cement the second place in the standings and place extra pressure on the leaders, so they will be under pressure when facing the Red Devils on Sunday evening.

Head coach Michael Skibbe has no fresh selection worries ahead of the Belgium game, and he is unlikely to make major changes to his starting XI.

Probable starting line-up (4-4-2): Karnezis – Manolas, Retsos, Papadopoulos, Tzavellas – Fortounis, Mantalos, Tziolis, Zeca – Donis, Vellios.

Belgium once again failed to mount a serious title challenge at a major international tournament, and time is slowly running out of arguably the country’s most talented generation ever.

The Red Devils seem determined to succeed at the 2018 World Cup and they could be one of the first European sides to book their ticket to Russia.

Belgium hold a six-point lead over second-placed Greece after seven games, meaning that even a draw will prove enough to secure the first place.

However, chances are that the Red Devils will want to defeat another strong European side and they are 2.00 (1/1) to succeed in their quest.

Few days ago, Belgium hammered sorry Gibraltar 9-0, but the win came at a cost as Axel Witsel was sent off and he is now banned for the Greece game.

This means that Moussa Dembele is likely to occupy his place in the middle of the park, which basically means the Red Devils will be just as strong.

Probable starting line-up (4-1-4-1): Courtois – Meunier, Alderweireld, Kompany, Vertonghen – Dembele – Carrasco, Mertens, De Bruyne, E. Hazard – Lukaku.

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