Our prediction for this Euro 2024 match:
The ground at OPAP Arena will be shaking when Greece and Netherlands go head to head in the Group B derby on Monday evening. Second place in the standings is at stake and, no doubt, the Greeks are brimming with confidence following a 2-0 win over Republic of Ireland. A man to keep an eye on in the home team will be Atlanta United forward Georgios Giakoumakis, who produced a brilliant performance in the Aviva Stadium clash.
The Orange, on the other hand, aim to recover from a 2-1 loss to France, but given the number of absentees in Ronald Koeman’s team, home win should be considered. All Matthijs de Ligt, Noah Lang, Frenkie de Jong, Steven Berghuis, Memphis Depay, and Cody Gakpo should miss out with injuries for the visiting team. Former Manchester United striker Wout Weghorst is widely expected to lead the line for the Orange.
Highlighted Player (Nathan Ake):
Ake is a professional footballer who plays for the Dutch National Team and AFC Bournemouth in the Premier League. The versatile defender who was born on the 18th of February, 1995, started his youth career in 2003 with local club ADO Den Haag. He then moved to Feyenoord in 2007 before joining Chelsea's youth academy four years later.
Ake made his first professional appearance at the age of 17, playing for the Blues in a 0-1 away victory against Norwich on the 26th of December, 2012. Barring a few starts and substitute appearances, Ake spent his next few years at Chelsea mostly in the reserves before being sent out on a one month loan to Reading in 2015. Upon his return, he immediately joined Watford on a season-long loan where his displays earned him the Watford's young player of the season award. Another successful loan spell at Bournemouth succeeded his time at Watford before Chelsea recalled him in January 2017.
At the start of the 17/18 season, the 24-year-old rejoined his current club Bournemouth permanently on a five-year contract worth 20 million pounds. On the International stage, Ake has represented the Netherlands at every youth level and has even captained the under-17 and under-19 sides. He made his first senior appearance on the 31st of May, 2017, featuring in Hollands 2-1 friendly win over Morocco.
Highlighted Team (Greece):
Former European champions Greece played their first official match on April 7, 1929, with the team suffering a heavy 4-1 loss to Italy in Athens. The Greeks booked their place at the FIFA World Cup finals in 1994 for the first time ever, but they failed to impress at the showpiece tournament in United States of America.
The Galanolefki were eliminated in the group stages of the 2010 FIFA World Cup as well, but they made it to the knockout stages of the tournament in Brazil four years later. However, the Greeks were more than unfortunate not to book their place in the quarter-finals as they were beaten by Costa Rica on penalties. However, Greece did remarkably well to win the 2004 European Championship and that is considered the national team’s biggest success.
Otto Rehhagel outplayed the likes of France and Czech Republic in the knockout stages to set up a meeting with hosts Portugal in the title game. Thanks to Angelos Charisteas’ goal 12 minutes into the second half Greece won the European Championship.