Greece are hoping to break a streak of three matches without a goal when they take on Bolivia on Friday at the Red Bull Arena in New Jersey.
Preparations for the upcoming World Cup have been rocky for the Greeks, as the 2004 European champions failed to win a single match in three tries. Bolivia, FIFA's lowest-ranked CONMEBOL team, should present Fernando Santos and his squad with their easiest challenge yet.
Date: Friday, June 6
Time: 8 p.m. ET/1 a.m. (Saturday) BST
Venue: Red Bull Arena, Harrison, New Jersey
TV info and live stream: The match will be broadcast on beIN Sports 1 (for U.S. viewers) and Premier Sports (for U.K. viewers), with mobile coverage available via beIN Sports Play and the Premier Player (subscription required).
Greece's goalless draw against Nigeria was as stale as their similar performance against Portugal was impressive, and manager Santos will be looking for his team to play with a little more flair on Friday.
The Portuguese veteran told cameras after the match against Nigeria he was happy with the progress his players have made so far, via Goal.com:
We have accumulated a little bit of fatigue, but generally we are adapting well to the climate.
These tests are important to ensure we are prepared for the first match with Colombia.
We cannot play in Brazil so the best alternative is to adapt ourselves in another way, the United States have similar conditions to the ones we will confront in Brazil so it is normal for teams to adapt in time difference and weather conditions.
I believe the two 0-0 draws have had different meanings, we are playing better, it is part of the progression we want to see. I am satisfied by the effort from the players.
Giorgos Karagounis once again shone as a creative outlet in midfield, and the 37-year-old's dominance over the team's other midfielders should worry Santos.
Karagounis can be a strong weapon off the bench and provides this team with a lot of experience, but he has fought too many battles to survive three (or more) full fixtures in Brazil's climate against the likes of Colombia, Ivory Coast and Japan.
Those three opponents are coming into the World Cup in great form and will travel to Brazil with younger, more athletic squads. Greece's organised brand of football and their proficiency on the counter are their biggest weapons, but without much of a threat moving forward, the counter-attack can largely be neutralised.
Giorgos Samaras and Kostas Mitroglou are Greece's strongest scoring options, and their partnership seemed to spark the team back to life late against Nigeria. Via Football Hellas, this particular link-up was impressive:
83' Mitroglou fed a long ball. Holds up play, back-heel pass to Samaras, who fires one-time, but Enyeama saves. Rebound from Salpi… saved.— Football Hellas (@FootballHellas) June 4, 2014
Bolivia have travelled to New Jersey with just two players under contract outside of Bolivia on the squad, and La Verde showed everyone they had no intention of embarrassing themselves when they played defending champions Spain in May.
Losing 2-0, the Bolivians kept the pitch compact defensively and committed a number of cynical fouls, despite the match only counting as a friendly.
Young stopper Romel Quinonez impressed in that match with a number of fine saves; given Greece's attacking shortcomings, Bolivia have to believe they can hold their opponents to just a draw on Friday.
Greece need more than a draw, however. Their stay in the USA was supposed to prepare them for the big stage in Brazil, and a failure to contribute anything in front of goal has doubts surrounding the squad.
A win is needed in order to regain some confidence and momentum, and against a team most comfortable playing in their own half, that's easier said than done.
The Greeks will have to leave their comfort zone to beat Bolivia, and Friday's challenge will go a long way in determining whether or not Santos' squad is ready.