Greece hoping for a repeat of their shocking Euro 2004 success
No one could have envisaged Greece winning the tournament when Euro 2004 kicked off, and yet win it they did, drawing with Spain, beating France and Portugal (TWICE – once in the group stages, then again in the final) along the way.
It was only their second appearance at the European Championships, having featured once before in 1980, but neither before nor since. Should this “second time lucky trend” continue for Greece, then they will win the World Cup (current odds at 200/1), having only once featured before, at USA 94.
Last time around, in 1994, Greece were joined in their group by Argentina, Bulgaria, and Nigeria. Although it proved to be a very disappointing tournament for Greece, as they lost those matches 4-0, 4-0, 2-0 respectively.
This time, they will be looking to somehow avenge at least two of those defeats, with both Argentina and Nigeria once again drawn in the same group.
Much will depend on the form of the strikers, including Georgios Samaras – a bit of a flop during his time with Manchester City following a £6million move from Heerenveen in 2006, but now finding form at Celtic.
And Theofanis Gekas (150/1 for the Golden Boot), who fired in an impressive 10 goals in 12 appearances in qualifying, and now looks certain to lead the line for Greece in South Africa.