Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Argentina vs Greece - Preview


Group B, 18:30 GMT, June 22, 2010
Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane, South Africa

Team Stat Comparison

Matches Played22
Table Position31
Goal Difference-14
Goals for *2.00.0
Goals against *1.00.0
Last 5W-LW-W
Last 5 homeWW-W
Last 5 awayL
*  Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club
Stats: Greece | Argentina

Competition Stats

GoalsVasilis Torosidis 1Gonzalo Higuaín 3
YellowsVasilis Torosidis 1Jonás Gutiérrez 2
Squads: Greece | Argentina

Greece player to watch: Giorgos Karagounis.The"Greek Gattuso", as he is affectionately known, is not just a tenacious midfield dynamo, but the Greeks' creator-in-chief. Capable of playing in either defensive or attacking midfield, Karagounis has drifted between the two roles in the opening two games - looking particularly dangerous in an offensive capacity against Nigeria. Greece are renowned for their ability from set-pieces and Karagounis is the man they rely on to deliver.

Argentina player to watch: Carlos Tevez. The industrious Tevez failed to find the net in the first two fixtures but he has continued to be an effective outlet in harassing opposing defenders. He continues to demonstrate a high work rate and despite Diego Milito and Sergio Aguero waiting in the wings, Tevez's overall contribution to the team should mean he retains his place even if he continues to fire blanks.
Key Battle: Dimitrios Salpingidis v Gabriel Heinze - Salpingidis' purposeful display against Nigeria resulted in the Greece forward netting the equalising goal and he has the potential to be a menace when drifting out to the wings where he will look to exploit Jonas Guttierez's lack of defensive nous and Heinze's lack of pace. Argentina continue to be dominant in attack but it's at the back where question marks remain, with Heinze and defensive partnerMartin Demichelis prone to lapses in concentration.
Trivia: There are eight Panathinaikos players in Greece's World Cup squad, the largest representation by one club in any World Cup team. There are three clubs with seven representatives in one World Cup squad: Bayern Munich (Germany), Barcelona (Spain) and April 25 (North Korea).
Stats: Gonzalo Higuain (age 22 years, 189 days) became the youngest player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup match since Florian Albert (20 years, 261 days) against Bulgaria in 1962. Only two other Argentines aged 22 or younger have scored multiple goals in one game at the World Cup: Diego Maradona (age 21) in 1982 and Carlos Peucelle (21) in 1930.
Odds: Greece(6.00), Argentina (1.61), the draw (3.80) are all on offer at Bet365. A 1-0 win for Greece may seem like a long shot but it's priced at 13.00.
Prediction: Greece have to go all-out to win the game and they have proved under Rehhagel before that they are more than capable of holding on to one-goal leads at major tournaments. But their desire to get forward will open them up, and with Messi & Co waiting to pounce, Argentina have more than enough quality to emerge as winners.

Argentina 2-0.

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