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Euro 2024 Qualifying: Greece vs. Kazakhstan Prediction & Betting Tips

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            Euro 2024 Qualifying Greece vs. Kazakhstan

            As the Euro 2024 playoff semi-final looms, the football world turns its gaze towards a clash that embodies the spirit of underdogs and the hope of nations dreaming of glory on the European stage. Greece and Kazakhstan, two nations with contrasting football histories and paths, find themselves on the cusp of securing a spot in a major international tournament, something both sets of fans and players have longed for, albeit for different reasons.

            Date: 21/03/2024

            Kick-off time: 19:45

            Location: OPAP Arena

            Greece's journey to this critical juncture in the Euro 2024 playoffs has been one of resilience, tactical ingenuity, and a testament to the nation's undying passion for football. Finishing third in a group that boasted footballing heavyweights such as France and the Netherlands, along with capable sides like Ireland and Gibraltar, Greece demonstrated their capability to stand tall among Europe's competitive echelon. Their performance in the group, just five points shy of 2nd place Netherlands, showcased not only their defensive solidity but also their ability to challenge the best in Europe.

            The last decade has, however, been a stark contrast to the euphoric heights of 2004, when Greece astonished the world by winning the European Championship. This golden era seemed a distant memory as Greek football grappled with a steady decline, marked by an absence from major international tournaments since the 2014 World Cup. Yet, amidst the shadows of past glories, there flickers a light of revival, fueled by emerging talents and a renewed sense of optimism within the national setup.

            Under the guidance of Gus Poyet, Greece have begun to blend experience with the exuberance of youth, creating a team that harbours a balanced mix of grit and flair. Players like Konstantinos Mavropanos, Kostas Tsimikas, and Vangelis Pavlidis offer a backbone of European club-level experience, while the promising Giannis Konstantelias symbolises the future of Greek football. This mix of seasoned campaigners and budding talent has rekindled hope among the Greek faithful that their team can once again ascend to the pinnacle of European football.

            Kazakhstan's path to the playoff semi-final is a narrative of overachievement and the breaking of new ground. Competing in a qualifying group with teams like Denmark, Slovenia, Finland, and Northern Ireland, Kazakhstan's fourth-place finish is a testament to a team outperforming expectations and setting new benchmarks for success. With a squad predominantly composed of players from the domestic league, Kazakhstan's campaign has been a heartening underdog story, showcasing the growth of football in the nation.

            Under the stewardship of Magomed Adiyev, Kazakhstan have developed a resilient and determined team ethos, underlined by the contributions of players who have ventured beyond the domestic league to ply their trade in Europe. The likes of Nuraly Alip, Aleksandr Zuyev, Bakhtiyar Zaynutdinov, and Abat Aymbetov bring a blend of international experience and insight that enriches the squad, offering strategic flexibility and a higher level of competitiveness.

            Kazakhstan's ambition is clear: to reach their first major international tournament as an independent nation. Such an achievement would not only mark a historic milestone but also symbolise the emergence of Kazakh football on the international stage. The narrative of Kazakhstan's journey is not just about a team; it's about national pride, the development of football within the country, and the dream of showcasing their talent to the world.

            The upcoming playoff semi-final between Greece and Kazakhstan is more than a qualifier; it's a convergence of dreams, ambitions, and the relentless pursuit of footballing excellence. For Greece, it's an opportunity to reassert themselves as a force in European football, to step out of the shadows of the past and embark on a new chapter filled with promise and potential. For Kazakhstan, it's about breaking barriers, defying expectations, and etching their name in the annals of football history.

            Greece To Win To Nil

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            Greece To Win To Nil @ 1/1
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            Greece/Greece @ 6/5
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            Greece To Score 2+ Goals

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            Greece To Score 2+ Goals @ 8/11
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            Team News

            Greece Team News:

            Greece will likely line up in a 3-5-2 with Konstantinos Mavropanos, Panos Retsos and Pantelis Chatzidiakos, in front of goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos.

            Lazaros Rota and Kostas Tsimikas should be the wing-backs, with Andreas Bouchalakis, Petros Mantalos and captain Anastasios Bakasetas making up the midfield. Up top, Georgios Masouras, Fotis Ioannidis and Vangelis Pavlidis will all compete for the two places.

            Kazakhstan Team News:

            Kazakhstan should go with a 5-4-1 that would see Igor Shatsky between the sticks with Nuraly Alip, Serhiy Malyi and Aleksandr Marochkin making up the back three. Marat Bystrov and Yan Vorogovsky should both provide support as wing-backs.

            Islam Chesnokov, Abzal Beysebekov, Bakhtiyar Zaynutdinov and Ramazan Orazov should comprise the midfield from right to left with Maksim Samorodov leading the line.

            Form Guide (Last Five Games)

            Greece's form is decent as they enter this game with three wins, one draw and one loss from their last five games. Most recently, Greece claimed an impressive 2-2 draw at home to France, where goals from Anastasios Bakasetas and Fotis Ioannidis helped Greece secure a very impressive result.

            Prior to that, Greece claimed a comfortable 2-0 win over New Zealand in a friendly which followed a very tight 0-1 defeat to the Netherlands that came only through a Virgil van Dijk penalty in the 93rd minute.

            Elsewhere, Greece beat the Republic of Ireland 2-0 away from home after comfortably beating Gibraltar 5-0.

            Kazakhstan's form is equally solid as they come into this game with three wins and two losses in their last five games under their belt. The Kazakh's latest outing came in the shape of a 2-0 win over Turkmenistan in a friendly in March, a game outside of the traditional international window.

            Prior to that game, Kazakhstan suffered a tight 2-1 win in Slovenia, which took an 86th-minute winner from the home side to seal the three points after Ramazan Orazov had levelled the scores shortly after half-time.

            That defeat was preceded by two wins: a 3-1 win over San Marino and a very impressive 2-1 win away in Finland, the latter of which came thanks to a brace from Bakhtiyar Zaynutdinov. Before that, Kazakhstan lost 3-1 away in Denmark and beat Northern Ireland 1-0 on home soil.

            Footy Accumulators Prediction

            Kazakhstan are a very dangerous underdog for the Greeks so they can't approach this game with any complacency. However, Greece are quite clearly the superior side of the two both individually and collectively, and with home advantage on their side it would take a considerable underperformance for them to lose this one. We predict: Greece 2-0 Kazakhstan.

            Don’t forget to check out the rest of our previews, tips and offers for this weekend’s action. Footy Accumulators is the #1 football betting site for the latest on betting in the UK - download the Betting Hub app for more!

            Header logoEuro 2024 Qualifying - Group B

            Team logoFrance
            Team logoNetherlands
            Team logoGreece
            Team logoRep. Ireland
            Team logoGibraltar
            Last updated 24/07/2024

            Header logoEuro 2024 Qualifying - Group H

            Team logoDenmark
            Team logoSlovenia
            Team logoFinland
            Team logoKazakhstan
            Team logoN. Ireland
            Team logoSan Marino
            Last updated 24/07/2024

            Where To Watch

            This game will be aired live for all U.K. viewers on Viaplay Xtra.