Thursday, October 28, 2021

Prediction: Spain vs Greece

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions, World Cup 24 Mar 2021

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Verdict: Spain to win both halves

Best Odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: Unibet

Looking to get their World Cup qualifying campaign off to a flying start on Thursday night, Spain will welcome Greece to The Estadio Nuevo Los Cármenes in Granada this week.

Spain

Starting with the hosts, while Spain might have failed to find top gear with much stability over the past 18 months, the former world champions certainly gave us a reminder last time out. Although La Roja might have failed to win any of their previous three contests before welcoming Germany to Sevilla back in November, they signed off their Nations League campaign with a real flurry. Eventually landing what was the most stunning of 6-0 romps against fellow European heavyweights Germany on home soil, Head Coach Luis Enrique saw his side manage to book a semi-final showdown for later in the year. Collecting just a pair of wins from their last six contests, a run highlighted by that shock 1-0 defeat against Ukraine, Spain will undoubtedly be glad to make a return home this week. Including that famous thumping win against Germany last time out, Thursday’s hosts have won each of their last 10 straight home fixtures, remarkably conceding just a single goal on that run.

Team News

Although Spain skipper Sergio Ramos might be dealing with a string of injury issues, the Real Madrid ace has been included in La Roja’s squad for March’s fixtures.

The likes of Barcelona starlet Pedri and Brighton keeper Robert Sanchez have been included in Spain’s squad for the first time.

Greece

As for the visitors, after missing out on a spot at this summer’s European Championships due to a woeful start to qualifying, Greece have really managed to steady the ship. With Head Coach John van’t Schip helping the former European champions enjoy a boost over the past 17 months, they now have their sights firmly set on booking their spot at the 2022 World Cup Finals. Eventually finishing two points behind Slovenia in last year’s Nations League and having to settle for another run in League C, Ethniki will be hoping to at least lay down some kind of marker when they travel to Granada this week. Although Greece might open Thursday’s meeting as a landslide underdog on foreign soil, they are unbeaten in each of their last 10 straight competitive fixtures and have made a host of improvements under Vvan’t Schip. Last seen playing out a 0-0 stalemate against Slovenia back in November, it is worth noting that Greece have conceded just a single strike in any of their last five matchups.

Team News

Liverpool left-back Kostas Tsimikas has been included in Greece’s squad and should start at left-back this week.

Likewise, Arsenal loanee Konstantinos Mavropanos looks set to earn his first international cap in Granada on Thursday night.

Key Factors to Consider

    • Spain were last seen back in November picking up a stunning 6-0 romp against Germany on home soil.
    • Thursday’s hosts have won each of their last 10 straight home matchups across all formats.
    • More impressive, Spain have remarkably conceded just a single goal on home soil since October 2018.
    • Likewise, Greece are unbeaten in each of their last 10 straight competitive fixtures.
    • Ethniki have also conceded just a single strike in any of their last five outings.

    Conclusion

    While Greece might have made a string of improvements over the past 17 months, they certainly face a stern test when they open their World Cup qualifying campaign in midweek. Last seen putting in what was a stunning display back in November when they played host to Germany, the European heavyweights picked up a stunning 6-0 romp. Looking to simply avoid any real banana skins this week, it should also be noted that Spain hold a glittering record on home soil. Winning each of their last 10 straight fixtures on home soil, La Roja have remarkably conceded just a single strike in Spain since way back in October 2018.

    Verdict: Spain to win both halves

    Best Odds: 11/10

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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