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FIFA World Cup European Qualifying

National Arena (ATT 53,174) 19th November 2013 - Kick off 19:00 Ref: M Mazic

Romania Romania vs Greece Greece

Romania (2) 1

J Holebas (og 55)

ft

Greece (4) 1

K Mitroglou (23)

World Cup play-off: Romania v Greece preview

Last Updated: 19/11/13 9:47am

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Greece: Won the first leg against Romania 3-1

Greece: Won the first leg against Romania 3-1

Greece will be favourites to secure a World Cup place as they head to Romania on Tuesday night for the second leg of their qualification play-off with a comfortable lead (kick-off 7pm).

The Greeks overcame their rivals 3-1 when they met in Athens last week and will be expected to hold on to complete the job in the return fixture in Bucharest.

The performance maintained Greece's strong form from their regular qualifying programme, in which they won eight out of 10 Group G matches only to finish second to Bosnia on goal difference.

Yet, despite their advantage and strong defensive reputation, the side's Portuguese coach Fernando Santos will be taking nothing for granted.

Santos told reporters after the first leg: "Although we are ahead in the tie we still need to go to Romania with a focused mindset as everything will be decided then. Nothing is over yet.

"We are at half-time in the tie so there is still plenty of work to do and we'll have to show the same appetite and concentration in the second leg, so we don't throw away what we have built on in Athens.

"Our focus will be to keep a clean sheet because if we concede an early goal it will create problems for us."

Romania will hope Tottenham's Vlad Chiriches can return to bolster their defence after missing the match in Greece due to a fractured nose.

The 24-year-old could play wearing a protective mask.

In his absence, the Romanian defence conceded twice to Olympiakos forward Konstantinos Mitroglu and once to Dimitrios Salpingidis to leave themselves facing an uphill struggle.

Romania's goal, from lone striker Bogdan Stancu of Genclerbirligi, was the first Greece had conceded since March.

Ciprian Marica could join Stancu up front in a more attacking formation in the second leg.

Regular first choice Ciprian Tatarusanu could also return in goal in place of Bogdan Lobont but midfielders Alexandru Bourceanu and Costin Lazar are suspended.

Greece also have a notable absentee through suspension after captain Kostas Katsouranis was booked in the first leg.

Greece, the Euro 2004 champions, are bidding to reach their second successive World Cup while Romania are hoping to qualify for the first time since 1998.

Romania coach Victor Piturca said: "If we manage to qualify, it will be extraordinary for Romanian football, and for myself.

"If we fail, you can forget about me for three months - I will hide in a monastery."

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Matches

  • FIFA World Cup European Qualifying

    Tue 19th Nov - Play-Offs

Tables

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group A

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Belgium 10 26
2 Croatia 10 17
3 Serbia 10 14
4 Scotland 10 11
5 Wales 10 10
6 Macedonia 10 7

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group B

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Italy 10 22
2 Denmark 10 16
3 Czech Republic 10 15
4 Bulgaria 10 13
5 Armenia 10 13
6 Malta 10 3

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group C

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Germany 10 28
2 Sweden 10 20
3 Austria 10 17
4 Republic of Ireland 10 14
5 Kazakhstan 10 5
6 Faroe Islands 10 1

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group D

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Netherlands 10 28
2 Romania 10 19
3 Hungary 10 17
4 Turkey 10 16
5 Estonia 10 7
6 Andorra 10 0

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group E

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Switzerland 10 24
2 Iceland 10 17
3 Slovenia 10 15
4 Norway 10 12
5 Albania 10 11
6 Cyprus 10 5

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group F

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Russia 10 22
2 Portugal 10 21
3 Israel 10 14
4 Azerbaijan 10 9
5 Northern Ireland 10 7
6 Luxembourg 10 6

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group G

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bosnia 10 25
2 Greece 10 25
3 Slovakia 10 13
4 Lithuania 10 11
5 Latvia 10 8
6 Liechtenstein 10 2

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group H

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 England 10 22
2 Ukraine 10 21
3 Montenegro 10 15
4 Poland 10 13
5 Moldova 10 11
6 San Marino 10 0

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group I

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Spain 8 20
2 France 8 17
3 Finland 8 9
4 Georgia 8 5
5 Belarus 8 4