Europe – World Cup – Qualification
Date: Wednesday, 31 March 2021
Kick-off at 19:45 UK/ 20:45 CET
Venue: Toumba Stadium (Thessaloniki)
Greece remain unbeaten in ten competitive matches following a 2-0 defeat in Italy back in October 2019 (W6, D4). In fact, Dutch manager John van ’t Schip has overseen just three defeats during his 16-game tenure so far (W8, D5, L3), of which ten produced under 2.5 goals.
Belgium is the only team to beat Greece during their last World Cup qualifying (WCQ) group, and subsequently they are unbeaten in 13 of their 17 competitive home games since the start of that previous campaign (W7, D6, L4). Solidity often comes at the cost of entertainment though, as the games during that period produced an average of just 1.88 goals per match.
Georgia on the other hand crumbled to a 2-1 defeat, extending their winless WCQ run to 19 games (D7, L12). Clinical finishing is needed here if they’re to bounce back as Georgia have failed to score in three of their last five games, and have averaged only 0.58 goals scored per match across their last 19 WCQ outings.
In all fixtures, Georgia’s last win over a nation ranked inside FIFA’s top 100 came back in 2016 during a shock friendly win vs Spain in 2016. Yet despite their dodgy away record vs better-ranked nations, Georgia often don’t disgrace themselves on the road – seven of their last nine away defeats ended 1-0, whilst five were level at HT.
Players expected to make impact include Greek hitman Georgios Giakomakis who is enjoying his finest season in the Dutch Eredivisie with 24 goals in 25 appearances, but still seeks his first competitive international strike. Georgia’s 249-minute run without scoring ended as Khvicha Kvaratskhelia slotted the opener last time out – that was his second goal in his last three caps.
- Greece’s form in last 5 matches: WDDWW.
- Georgia’s form in last 5 matches: LLDLL.