Mr Fernando Santos finally realised that Jesus George Samaras can't do his miracles on the left wing and George shined as a forward by creating the first goal, winning a penalty and scores the second goal. The team played so much better without Katsouranis and the whole Greek nation is shouting to Mr Santos to not starting him today.
If this happens, then George Karagounis will start the game for sure. Having said that, looking back to the game against Ivory Coast, I do agree that Karagounis inspired the team with his experience however, all the rest players had to do the running for him. In my opinion, except the fantastic shot he had on the second half and a couple good passes, he did not do much. In this case, Greece was lucky enough because Ivory Coast did not focus on controlling the middle field but trying to push forward. Similar things I have to say about Dimitris Salpingtidis. What a waste on the right wing having a striker trying to mark most of the times and he has no stamina and power to go forward when Greece has the ball. It might sounds cruel but what I am trying to say is.... Mighty Greeks were playing 9 against 11 most of the game against Ivory Coast and they did it!
Costa Rica is a different story. They will not go all attack like Ivory Coast. They play passive and careful football, defending themselves with a 5-4-1 formation and they become so polymorphic in attack with 3-5-2 by pushing forward on the left or right full backs to the middle field and 2 middle filed players will be come Supportive Strikers or forwards. The team get their tactics right and is not a surprise for me to see them qualifying on the 16 of the world cup. There is talent for sure but in my opinion, there is more team work and tactics.
Greeks have the experience and the ability to knock out Costa Rica but the question is...... Will Mr Santos realize that 2 middle field players (Karagounis who is not marking at all) will not be enough against 4-6 middle field Costa Rica players? Will he realize that with Karagounis and Salpingdtidis in the first 11 team is putting in a risk the whole defensive operation of the team and the central Latin Americans will put so much pressure to the Greek defence? My First eleven for today would be:
Greece (Possible, 4-1-2-1-2): Karnezis; Torosidis, Manolas, Papasthathopoulos, Tzavellas; Holebas, Samaris, Karagounis; Maniatis, Christodoulopoulos , Samaras.
If the Greeks will not fall into the Costa Rican's trap like the Italians did, then they will qualify for first time in their history to the Quarter Finals of the World Cup.
In terms of betting I agree with the bookies that this could be an Under 2,5 goals game however the value does not worth the 'risk'. The 0-0 score offers price not more higher than 7.00 (6/1) and the Under 2.5 goals is no even touching the price of 1.50 I will go to scores 1-1 and 0-1 for Greece where the prices are more descent.
In the the other game today, I think that Netherlands might be 'betrayed' by their defence..... It happened so many times in the past. Both teams to score and scores 1-2 for Mexico or 1-1.