Football Bet of the Day: Crunch time in Tbilisi

 | March 26 | 

3 mins read

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There are three Euro 2024 qualification play-off finals on Tuesday, including the Path C decider at the Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena in Tbilisi where hosts Georgia will be striving to get the better of Euro 2004 champions Greece.

Georgia are bidding to advance to a major tournament for the first time in their history, however, they have been catching the eye in the Nations League, winning two promotions since the tournament’s inauguration in 2018.

Greece famously lifted the trophy in 2004 after winning 1-0 against tournament hosts Portugal in the final, but they have failed to qualify since a run to the quarter-finals at Euro 2012.

Football Bet of the Day - Tuesday, March 26

  • Georgia to qualify @ 6/5

Georgia’s Under-21s demonstrated the benefit of home advantage with a run to the quarter-finals at 2023 European Under-21 Championship and their senior team can do the business against Greece in their Euro 2024 qualifying play-off final in Tbilisi.

Vocal support played a key role in helping Georgia’s Under-21s perform above expectations.

And the noise from the stands could have an impact on the senior team’s qualifier against Greece which looks like a contest between two well-matched sides.

Georgia are a nation of football lovers but they have had some lean times and were close to rock bottom in 2018 when drawn alongside Kazakhstan, Latvia and Andorra in League D, Group One of the inaugural Nations League.

Since then they have won two Nations League promotions and are preparing to come up against Czech Republic, Ukraine and Albania in this year’s competition.

The Crusaders have come a long way in a fairly short period of time and they were 2-0 winners at home to Luxembourg in last Thursday’s Euro 2024 qualifying play-off semi-final, despite having to compete without suspended star player Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.

Head coach Willy Sagnol will be delighted to welcome the Napoli man back into his starting XI for the crunch contest against Greece and the wily tactician has every chance of presiding over a momentous victory.

Greece have a far greater pedigree than their hosts having competed at four European Championship finals and three World Cups.

But they have not appeared at a major tournament since the 2014 World Cup and there are ongoing doubts about their capacity to cope with demanding away games.

Gus Poyet’s side have won just twice on their last seven road trips which have included a 1-0 Nations League loss to Cyprus and a 1-1 friendly draw against Malta.

The Greeks did reasonably well in qualifying Group B, finishing a solid third behind France and the Netherlands and were rampant 5-0 winners at home to Kazakhstan in last Thursday’s play-off semi-final.

But there is a general lack of star quality in the squad and a possible weakness in the goalkeeping position, with Nottingham Forest’s third-choice Odysseas Vlachodimos the man in possession of the gloves.

Overall there doesn’t look to be a major difference between the two sets of players and the extra energy from the home crowd may be enough to swing the contest in Georgia’s favour.

Georgia to qualify at 6-5

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