Our prediction for this Nations League match:
Greece welcome Northern Ireland to their Georgios Kamaras Stadium in what is a very important game for the visiting side. Greece have already secured promotion to the Nations League B, while Northern Ireland are fighting hard to avoiding the League C play-out. Since important attacker Vangelis Pavlidis (AZ Alkmaar) is sidelined with injury, we are not tempted to put our money on the hosts, who have little to play for in Tuesday’s clash.
The Green and White Army, on the other hand, desperately needed a win against Kosovo, and they managed to get one. The visitors aim to give fans yet another reason for celebration, and we predict that they will hold Greece to a draw in Athens. Crystal Palace midfielder Kofi Balmer could make his Northern Ireland debut against Gustavo Poyet’s team, while Cardiff City forward Gavin Whyte is pushing for a start after scoring as a substitute in the triumph over Kosovo.
Highlighted Player (Andreas Samaris):
Greece international midfielder Andreas Samaris began his career playing for Panachaiki before his spells with Panionios and Olympiakos. SL Benfica is the first international experience for the 27-year-old player who arrived in Portugal in 2014.
A full international since 2013, Samaris represented Greece at the 2014 FIFA World Cup during which he managed to make his presence known and earn a move abroad. Andreas Samaris operates as a central midfield but is capable of filling in defensive midfielder role. Greek international was the mainstay for Benfica during his first two seasons at the club managing 46 Primeira Liga appearances during the period. He also added 12 Champions League appearances.
Andreas Samaras helped Benfica win two Primeira Liga titles, two Taca da Liga trophies and one Super Cup. Greek international was the regular performer for his national team during the unsuccessful Euro 2016 qualifying campaign with ten games to his name.
Highlighted Team (Northern Ireland):
Competing first under the Irish flag and then as an independent entity, Northern Ireland are one of world’s oldest national teams, but they haven’t enjoyed too much success in history. Led by Danny Blanchflower, the Irish impressed at their first ever World Cup finals appearance, reaching the quarter-finals in 1958, but they have since only played at the 1982 and 1986 tournaments, reaching round 2 and crashing out in the group stage respectively.
Northern Ireland had failed to qualify for 13 successive European Championship finals before finally booking their ticket to the Euro 2016 in France, and the fans hope this success will only be a sign of things to come. Without a doubt, George Best is the most famous footballer to have ever put on the green shirt, scoring 9 goals in 37 appearances, but he couldn’t help the national team close the gap behind Europe’s top sides.
Some of the other high-profile footballers include Pat Jennings, Aaron Hughes, David Healy, Keith Gillespie, Steven Davies and Gareth McAuley.