GREECE vs. GERMANY
Date: Friday, June 22, 2012
Location: PGE Arena Gdańsk (Gdańsk, Poland)
Time: 2:45 p.m. ET/11:45 a.m. PT
Television: ESPN, ESPN Deportes
Computer: Watch ESPN (Formerly ESPN3)
Satellite Radio: Sirius XM Channel 92
Odds To Advance: Germany: -800, Greece: +600
90 Minutes + Injury Time Odds: Germany: -1½ -120, Greece: +1½ Even
Three-Way Odds: Germany: -325, Greece: +1050, Draw: +400
First Half Odds: Germany: -½ -135, Greece: +½ +115
First Half Total: 1o -120
Odds To Win Euro 2012: Germany: 2/1, Greece: 50/1
No quarterfinal matchup in this tournament has odds as disparate as this one, in which Germany is a very heavy favorite in Gdańsk on Friday.
And rightfully so.
Greece fought its way into the Final 8 with a hard-fought 1-0 upset win against Group A favorites Russia in its last match after drawing with Poland (1-1) in the opener and losing to the Czech Republic (2-1) in its second match.
If this match were a Scrabble game, there’s no doubt that the surprise UEFA Euro 2004 champions Greece would destroy Germany—as well as all other nations—but it’s not, so Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Kyriakos Papadopoulos will just have to concentrate on playing great defense against the aggressive German attack.
Georgios Samaras has been disappointing so far in the tournament for Greece, especially defensively. I except Germany to try and exploit that with its four talents up front in Thomas Müller, Mesut Özil, Lukas Podolski and Mario Gomez.
Meanwhile, Greece striker Theofanis Gekas will have his work cut out for him as he tries to negotiate the German defense, which features defenders Jérôme Boateng, Mats Hummels, Holger Badstuber, Philipp Lahm and talented goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
At this point, Germany, along with Spain, looks like the team to beat in this European Championship. Germany has won all 13 games that it has played in qualifying and in the tournament so far, including a sweep through the Group of Death.
And many on Germany’s deep roster play for Bayern Munich and still have that bitter taste of the UEFA Champions League loss to Chelsea fresh in their mouths, so expect some extra motivation from that rough reality.
In Greece’s 1-0 win against Russia in its last match, the game’s lone score came right before halftime when it seemed Russia’s defense fell asleep for the briefest of moments.
That won’t happen here.
It’s likely Germany will dominate the time of possession here and score first.
I just can’t see Greece scoring more than one goal, whereas I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Germany’s Gomez notches two himself.
And when your bench has names like Miroslav Klose, Per Mertesacker and Toni Kroos on it, well, let’s just say it’s fun to be manager Joachim Low.
I think thanks to some clutch passing by Sami Khedira, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Özil that Gomez will score a goal in each half, and Germany will move on to the semifinals with relative ease.
So, no big upset for Greece this time around. Sorry, Sokratis.
PREDICTION: Germany 2 Greece 0
BETS: Germany -½ -135 (First Half), Germany -1½ -120
Odds: LVH SuperBook (Formerly the Las Vegas Hilton)
Follow me on Twitter: @KevinStott11