Our prediction for this World Cup 2022 match:
Spain will be looking to overtake Sweden in top position in Group B when they take on Greece at Toumba Stadium on Thursday evening. La Roja aim to bounce back from the Nations League final defeat to France, and they are likely to go all guns blazing at John van’t Schip’s troops. Both Ansu Fati and Dani Carvajal return from injuries, while Man City ace Ferran Torres has been ruled out with injury, as well as Real Sociedad winger Mikel Oyarzabal.
Greece, on the other hand, aim to keep their World Cup qualification hopes alive, but they will have a big fish to fry in Thursday’s clash. Even though Luis Enrique’s troops will be without Oyarzabal and Torres in the Toumba Stadium qualifier, away win should be considered as Spain are more of a team than Greece. AZ Alkmaar defender Pantelis Chatzidiakos is banned for the hosts.
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 (Spain):
Historically, Spain have been regarded as one of top sides on international stage, but they often struggled to live up to the billing. After reaching the semi-finals at the 1950 World Cup, La Furia Roja won the European Championship trophy on home soil in 1964, but little did they know that it would remain their only trophy for another 44 years.
Following some disappointing showings, Spain finally returned to the biggest stage under Vicente Del Bosque, winning three straight trophies between 2008 and 2012, before crashing out in the group stage at the 2014 World Cup. La Furia Roja enjoyed plenty of success with their tiki-taka style of play, originally designed by Barcelona, with Vicente Del Bosque’s side packed with technically skilled players such as Xavi Hernandez, Xabi Alonso, Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas and David Silva.
Strikers Fernando Torres and David Villa also had a major role to play in those successes, but when it comes to their famous predecessors, the likes of Alfredo Di Stefano, Michel, Emilio Butrageno, Raul Gonzalez, Fernando Morientes and Fernando Hierro should not be forgotten.