Friday June 7 2019
Anastasiadis: 'Greece not afraid of Italy'

Greece Coach Angelos Anastasiadis “respects Italy, but isn’t afraid of them” ahead of their Euro 2020 qualifier tomorrow night.

The Greeks welcome the Azzurri to Athens on Saturday evening, with just two points separating the sides in their Euro 2020 qualifying group.

Both nations failed to qualify for the last World Cup and are rebuilding, however, the Greeks upset the odds to win this competition in Portugal 15 years ago.

“We must return to playing football as we did in 2004,” he said at his Press conference on the eve of the game with the Italians.

“Our first goal was to bring in some new players to start this new cycle, as we had gone through some bad moments and we needed to change something.

“I won’t change my formation or tactics to face Italy. I don’t care about the opponent, I’m only focused on my team, everything depends on us.

“We have prepared well and if we are disciplined, we will have a chance. I’m optimistic about getting a result, it won’t be easy, as Italy are a great team, but we're aiming to do well and play our game.”

Greece beat Liechtenstein 2-0 and held Bosnia-Herzegovina to a thoroughly creditable 2-2 away draw.

“We have worked hard to try an instil the new philosophy into our players, we are a strong national team, we can do well against the big teams, but we wanted to create a new atmosphere and that’s what we did.

“We must believe that we can qualify, for us, it is vital that we do. The message to my players is that this isn’t a fundamental match, as there are still plenty of games left to play, so qualification could go down to the final game in the group.

“We are playing to win, and hopefully we will have a full stadium and our fans can get behind us. I’m optimistic for tomorrow and I respect Italy, but I’m not afraid of them.”

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