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Greece vs Poland Preview

March 28, 2011 By George Tsitsonis
Greece welcome EURO 2012 co-hosts Poland for an International friendly on Tuesday evening in Piraeus.
The Polish side are trying to gear up for EURO 2012 with a series of friendly fixtures and are coming off a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Lithuania over the weekend.

Greece meanwhile are aiming to qualify for the tournament and currently lead Group F of EURO 2012 qualifying with 11 points from five matches, ahead of Croatia, Georgia, and Israel in a tight section.

Greece squeaked through past Malta on Saturday with a 1-0 win courtesy of a last-gasp winner by Vasilis Torosidis in a Group F qualifier. Fernando Santos’ bunch were mediocre at best on the night in Ta’Qali where the hosts Malta so very nearly claimed a surprising point.

In the end, the three points were claimed though midfielder Pantelis Kafes told the media this week that despite a poor performance his team deserved the victory, “The match against Malta was difficult, however the points we gained were crucial. We must continue on. Against Poland we have the opportunity to try different tactics and we hope that the people will come to support us.”

Santos is surely set to play many of the squad who did not feature against Malta over the weekend. This should mean that there should be a place in the starting eleven for the likes of Kafes, Vagelis Moras, and Giannis Fetfatzidis.

Santos may however avoid wholesale changes as besides a chance for experimentation this match is the start of an important few matches for Greece. Should the national side defeat Poland and Malta in a qualifier in June and then avoid defeat to Italy in a friendly shortly after, Greece may be one of ranked European nations for the draw for the 2014 World Cup to be held later this summer.

Poland meanwhile are building toward a side capable of impressing at next year’s European Championships. The team were heavily criticized in the domestic press following a dour display against Lithuania.

The match against Greece will be special for Polish supporters in that it will signal the end of Michal Zewlakow’s international career. The most-capped Polish player in history, Zewlakow’s desire was to end his international career in Greece, where he enjoyed his most successful club playing days at Olympiakos.

The 35-year-old defender has captained his country on many occasions and will play for Poland for the 102nd and last time.

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