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Ireland v Greece: Guide to the visiting team

A look at Ireland’s visitors at the Aviva Stadium on Wednesday night, Greece.

The manager: Fernando Santos

THE PORTUGUESE IS popular in his adopted country, having taken over from Otto Rehhagel in 2010 and overseen a successful qualifying campaign for the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine.

His career as a player ended at the age of 21, but he has managed some big names in European football, including Porto, Sporting, AEK Athens and Benfica.

Santos has enjoyed a successful spell with PAOK before the Hellenic Football Federation stepped in and snaffled him for the Greek team.

The star player: Giorgos Samaras

Just when you think that the handsomely appointed Samaras is a complete waste of space, up he pops to score the winner in his club’s first Champions League away victory.

Samaras is guilty of drifting in and out of games and the tendency of various managers to play him out wide doesn’t help, but he can be a lethal finisher when he wants to be. Now 27, he has scored eight goals in his 62 appearances for the national team.

One for the future: Sotiris Ninis

To lazily steal from the 22-year-old’s FIFA blurb, he “possesses a dizzying range of skills to go with sublime vision, an electrifying change of pace and fearsome long-range shooting skills.”

That might make him sound like Lionel Messi, and he’s not that good, but he was twice voted Greece’s young player of the year and moved from Panathinaikos to Parma in the summer (having been tracked by Manchester United at one point.)

(YouTube credit: Castana33)

Euro 2012?

Better than they would have expected. They drew with Poland in the opening game, beat the disappointing Russians, and only lost 2-1 to table toppers the Czech Republic.

Greece made it into the quarter-finals but could not get past Germany, who beat them 4-2.

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Brazil 2014 prospects?

Very good. They currently lie joint top of their group on ten points, along with Bosnia.

Having started the group with a 1-0 win against Slovakia, they drew 0-0 with Bosnia before recording successive wins over Lithuania and Latvia.


Goalkeepers: Orestis Karnezis (Panathinaikos), Kostas Peristeridis (Panionisos);

Defenders: Kostas Manolas (Olympiakos), Kyriakos Papadopoulos (Schalke04), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Werder Bremen), Kostas Stafylidis (PAOK), Nikos Spyropoulos (Panathinaikos), Vasilis Torosidis (Olympiakos), Loukas Vyntra (Panathinaikos);

Midfielders: Elini Dimoutsos (Atromitos), Kostas Fortounis (Kaiserslautern), Panagiotis Kone (Bologna), Giannis Maniatis (Olympiakos), Sotiris Ninis (Parma), Panagiotis Tachtsidis (Roma), Alexandros Tziolis (APOEL);

Strikers: Stefanos Athanasiadis (PAOK), Lazaros Christodoulopoulos (Panathinaikos), Kostas Mitroglou (Olympiakos), Cholempas, Dimitris Salpingidis (PAOK), Giorgos Samaras (Celtic).

Ireland v Greece: Tardelli mindful of Samaras threat >

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