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Last World Cup: Group stage
Nickname: The Pirate Ship, Sky blue-white
Coach: Fernando Santos
Star man: Georgios Samaras
Tournament best: Group stage 1994, 2010

Goals have been a problem and so the pressure will be on the likes of Samaras and veteran Dimitris Salpingidis to deliver up front, particularly if Greece can keep things tight at the back as they have done throughout qualifying.

Strengths: Greece's defence can take the most credit for getting them to Brazil, having kept clean sheets more regularly than everyone except Switzerland. Only four of the finalists conceded less frequently; they were one of only four teams not to concede from outside their penalty area and one of only three not to concede from a corner.

Weaknesses: However they weren't as strong going forward, with only three qualifying teams scoring at a lower rate and they created very few goals from set pieces. Their impressive defence looked the most vulnerable when dealing with high free kicks, with half of the goals they conceded being headed in from these situations.

Prospects: While seeds Colombia made good use of free kicks in qualifying they rarely chose to head the ball, so Greece's well-marshalled back line could well keep them at bay. Japan look more likely to provide an aerial threat, with nearly a third of their goals arriving from headers, while the Ivory Coast's high-tempo start to matches will also test the fluency of the Greek defence.

 

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