Our prediction for this match:
Georgios Kamaras Stadium will host Friday’s friendly between Greece and New Zealand, the two teams who meet for the first time in a friendly. The Greeks will use this match as a good preparation for the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifier against France and we are positive that head coach Gustavo Poyet is going to rest key players for the decider. All Siopis, Fountas, and Bouchalakis are pushing for recalls to the starting XI.
The All Whites, on the other hand, failed to impress in a 2-0 loss to Australia in October and seeing that Greece have been producing fine performances in the European Championship qualifiers, home win should be considered. As always, a man to keep an eye on in the away team will be Nottingham Forest striker Chris Wood, who came as a substitute in a 3-2 loss to West Ham United at the weekend.
Highlighted Player (Kostas Fortounis):
Born in Trikala Greece on 16 October, 1992, Kostas Fortounis made his senior debut for his hometown club Trikala in the 2009/2010 Gamma Ethniki campaign. After playing 13 games for the club he moved to Asteras Tripolis at the end of the season.
In 2011 the Greek midfielder moved to Germany, signing a deal with Kaiserslautern. Fortounis made 70 league appearances for Kaiser, scoring two goals from 2011 to 2014. On 22 July, 2014 he returned to Greece, signing a four-year contract with Olympiacos. It has to be noted that he played for the Thrylos during his youth career (2003-2008).
Kostas Fortounis made his Greece debut against Belgium in February, 2012 and he represented his homeland at the 2012 European Championship finals. However, he was left out of the Greece 2014 FIFA World Cup squad. His main position is attacking midfielder, but he is capable of playing as a winger as well. Fortounis won two Greek Superleague titles (2014/2015, 2015/2016) with Olympiakos.
Highlighted Team (New Zealand):
New Zealand football national team qualified for the FIFA World Cup finals for the first time in 1982, with the team failing to advance to the knockout stages of the tournament. 28 years later the All Whites did well to make it to the World Cup in South Africa and Ricki Herbert’s men were playing above expectations at the showpiece tournament.
New Zealand did remarkably well to share the spoils with the likes of Slovakia, Italy and Paraguay in Group F, but they eventually failed to book their place in the last 16. The All Whites clinched OFC Nations Cup title on two occasions (1973, 2002), with the team beating Tahiti and Australia respectively in the title games. Speaking of the team’s biggest win, it has to be noted that they outclassed Fiji 13- 0 on August 16, 1981.
Back in 1936 New Zealand suffered a heavy 10-1 loss to Australia in front of home fans and that is considered the biggest defeat in the history of the national team. New Zealand play their home games at Westpac stadium and the capacity of the venue is 34.500.