World Cup Odds and Picks: Greece Vs. Nigeria Predictions
by Jordan Adams - 6/15/2010
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This match between Greece and Nigeria may be a battle for the runner up position in Group B. I don’t think anyone will feel insulted if we go ahead and assume the vastly skilled Argentines will be making quick work of first place in this foursome. Now what’s left to be decided is the second spot, and Greece and Nigeria are in a good place to dictate terms on their own behalf.
Even more so, both are coming off losses and need a win for any chance to advance past the group stages. At 10 a.m. on Thursday, June 17 at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein is where this clash takes place.
Let’s face it – Greece plays an ugly style of football. They don’t mind opting for a defense shell instead of offensive attack, relying more on countering off opponents’ mistakes and ambitious ways of pushing forward.
Let’s face it – Greece was awful in their opener. They showed no threat in attack and their five-man defense, which is their staple, wasn’t impressive either. Anything will be an improvement, but perhaps that bad loss already booked their place outside the top two in the group.
Nigeria won’t be winning games 3-2 or 5-4 either. The Super Eagles, too, are very methodical in their approach. They accept their role as ‘slow and steady wins the race.’ The one difference between the two’s offensive woes is Greece just chooses not to attempt exploits. Nigeria lacks the firepower.
And it’s not like the West African nation fails to bring talent to the field. Some of their best players make a living in the EPL, regarded as the Europe’s best. Everton’s Ayegbeni Yakubu and Joseph Yobo are very fine players. It has just played out that they seem better suited to work in supplementary roles and play off differently skilled footballers on their club teams, as opposed to all coming together and unifying as a sole unit. It just hasn’t come full circle yet.
Nigeria had every chance to score a draw against Argentina, but perhaps they should have been thankful just to be in the game. The South Americans failed to capitalize on a handful of chances, so the 1-0 result really could and should have been three or four to the winners.
If you can take one really positive thing away from Greece’s draw in Group B, it is they get Argentina in the third fixture. Now that might not be good if they need a win to advance, but look at it in a way where Greece can build momentum in its first two group play matches, take care of business and book a spot in the elimination before even clashing with the top seed in the quartet.
This game could be really dull, or the necessity for a win could make it a real teeth grinder. Let’s hope for the latter, as it is Group B’s marquee match-up in the second set of games of the group stage.
Greece vs. Nigeria World Cup Odds:
Bodog sees the match as a tough one to call. Greece can be had at +187 and Nigeria at +140. The ‘Draw’ has odds of +220 in this fixture.
Sports Interaction has Greece at +180 and Nigeria +137. The ‘Draw’ here is posted at +200.
Greece vs. Nigeria Picks and Predictions:
Greece wins if: they score first. Sounds simple but I think the Greeks need the confidence of an early goal and then they can fall back to their game plan with the lead intact. If the game lingers without a goal for either side, you could almost assume Greece would see it through to the full 90 and accept a draw to make sure they walk away with a point.
Nigeria wins if: they keep Greece scoreless and net one to boost moral. Nigeria’s attack won’t be confused with that of fellow Group B’ers Argentina or any other dominant force in the tournament. They struggle to consistently produce, and so the best chance they have of coming out of this match with three points is to post a clean sheet and net a goal or two in the process.
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