World cup playoff croatia vs greece – lineups, preview and prediction – realsport

19:45 GMT, Thursday 9th November, Stadion Maksimir (Zagreb, Croatia) 19:45 GMT, Sunday 11th November, Stadio Georgios Karaikakis (Piraeus, Greece)

In the course of the next week, Croatia and Greece will face off in a FIFA World Cup qualifying playoff which will determine which of the two sides will progress to next summer’s final in Russia.

Croatia will have been disappointed to finish second in a group which was eventually won by current international dark horses Iceland. While results away from home were good enough to see the Croatians battling for automatic qualification, they were let down by away results as losses to Turkey and Iceland eventually condemned them to a second place finish.

That said, their qualification was still in the balance even by the time the final game of group stages came around liver meaning. Needing to beat Ukraine to cement a second place finish, Andrej Kramaric’s double finish in the second half put the game beyond doubt and secured a playoff spot for the team who finished third in the 1998 World Cup.

The Greece Men’s National Team still struggles to shake off its reputation as a dour, defensively-minded outfit who dragged themselves to a European Championship in 2004. Under the management of former Hertha Berlin coach Michael Skibbe, there has been a sea change within the team, though, who only lost once in their qualifying fixtures this time around.

That said, in reaching the playoff against Croatia, the football they played was often ugly. With Bosnia and Herzegovina their closest rivals behind group favourites Belgium, three draws – two against Bosnia and Herzegovina, and one against Belgium – were enough to secure a second-placed finish.  Last Time Out

In a game that Croatia had to win to secure second place in their qualifying group and a playoff position for a place in the 2018 World Cup, the eventual 2-0 scoreline ended up looking far more comfortable than the game actually was.

Goals from Hoffenheim striker Andrej Kramaric in the 62nd minute and the 70th minute finally killed the game off in a tense Olympic Stadium in Kiev – the first a wonderful header from a Luka Modric cross and the second a neat finish tucking away a loose ball across the box that found the striker at the back post.

In the Stadio Georgios Karaikakis, Greece romped into the World Cup playoffs in front of their home fans with a classy 4-0 defeat of international minnows Gibraltar. Despite being favourites, the Greeks approached the game with a level of professionalism, making sure their second-place qualification was secured with three second-half goals to add to Vasilios Torosidis’ first-half effort.

Two goals in two minutes from former Fulham man Konstantinos Mitroglu early in the second half put the game to bed before Giannis Gianniotas iced the cake with his headed effort twelve minutes from time liver pain symptoms. Croatia Lineup

There have been some concerns over the fitness of Dejan Lovren who is coming back from a recent injury. Manager Zlatko Dalic could select Matej Mitrovic to replace him if the Liverpool player fails his final fitness test.

Elsewhere Vedran Corluka, Mateo Kovacic and Milan Badelj are unavailable for selection as a result of on-going injury concerns. Greece Lineup

Michael Skibbe has most of his squad available for selection for the playoff with Croatia liver meaning in urdu. The Greeks will be without Petros Mantolas, though, who has been fundamental to the team’s recent successes. Key Battle: Mario Mandzukic (Croatia) vs Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Greece)

Plying his trade in Serie A, Mario Mandzukic has a pedigree to him that is hard to ignore. A Champions League final goal for Bayern Munich, he has also had stints at VfL Wolfsburg, Atletico Madrid and he currently finds himself a regular starter at the San Siro for Juventus, a club for whom he has scored two goals so far this season liver pain alcohol. Croatia will hope that all this experience will play into their hands and who better to rely upon to get goals in big games.

Fortunately for Greece, the player who will be looking to prevent Mandzukic has also got pedigree behind him. Sokratis Papastathopoulos is the starting centre back at Borussia Dortmund and has the European experience to match Mandzukic albeit without a Champions League final to speak of.

This season has been something of a rollercoaster for Sokratis liver pain location. Beginning the season undefeated in the league until they faced RB Leipzig on Matchday Eight, Dortmund have now gone into freefall, finding themselves to beat APOEL in the Champions League group stages on two occasions. With new coach Peter Bosz favouring a high line, BVB have been found out a few times in recent weeks. It will be interesting to see how he fares in international competition with this recent domestic form at the back of his mind. Talking Points

On paper, this double header looks to be clearly weighted towards the Croatians whose star-studded squad boasts players from some of the biggest clubs around Europe liver pain after drinking. It is hard, for example, to look past a double pivot of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic sitting just behind the midfield three of Ivan Perisic, Andrej Kramaric and Marcelo.

That said, Greece have a habit of knowing their place and Michael Skibbe has managed to galvanise the team since his arrival. If they can manage to hold out for a draw away from home in the first leg, then Ethniki will be hopeful that their talismanic striker Kostas Mitroglu might be able to drag them through in the second leg. Prediction: Croatia 3-1 Greece on aggregate

Despite the fact that the Greek team will be no pushover, it is hard to see them going through into the finals competition next summer liver pain. To do so, they would need to pull off two unlikely results consecutively and, while they have the ability to do that once, it is hard to see it happening twice in quick succession liver pain after gallbladder removal. Expect a 2-0 win for Croatia to be followed by a hard-fought 1-1 draw in Greece.

Secondly, you make no mention of the absence of Kostas Manolas, an important player in the Greek squad in the centre of defence whom FIFA have suspended for very questionable reasons, but we won’t go into that. It’s at least worth a mention. At least. As is the injury concern to our captain Vasilis Torosidis and Sokratis Papastathopoulos who was uncertain to play and may in fact struggle to complete the match, if he plays. Our squad is depleted in key areas and key players our out or have big questions marks against them and you make it sound as though we are almost at full strength liver meaning in marathi. That’s just plain incorrect.

As for “That said, in reaching the playoff against Croatia, the football they played was often ugly”. That’s subjective. Besides what does “often” mean? Is a strong defensive performance “ugly”? Not in my opinion. If you just want goals and tricks, then maybe.

Nothing personal, but your article needs work. “Michael Skibbe has most of his squad available for selection for the playoff with Croatia.” is hardly accurate liver pain treatment. Far from it.