Skibbe Set For Big Decisions Ahead Of Bosnia Match
The Greek National Team’s crucial match against Bosnia and Herzegovina in European Qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup is fast approaching. The away qualifier, to be played at the Bilino Polje Stadium in Zenica on June 9th, is a vital match that could go a long way in determining Greece’s chances for a place at Russia 2018.
In the coming weeks, Ethniki boss Michael Skibbe will announce the squad for that crucial qualifier. And Skibbe will have some big decisions to make as five players will miss the match against the Bosnians. Andreas Samaris, Giorgos Tzavellas, Kyriakos Papadopoulos, and Panagiotis Tachtsidis are all ruled out due to suspension, with Samaris having accumulated yellows while Tzavellas and Tachtsidis were both sent off in the team’s last qualifier against Belgium. Kyriakos Papadopoulos will be serving his final match suspension for his actions against Bosnia in Greece.
Also absent from the team will be long-term injury victim Nikos Karelis.
Skibbe is widely reported to be interested in calling up left-back Babis Lykogiannis for the first time. The Sturm Graz player has impressed with his performances as of late putting himself in the frame for a call-up to the senior team after having represented Greece at youth level.
Another player to have represented Greece’s younger national teams is also in line for a first call-up. Panathinaikos’ Dimitris Kourbelis could be selected as a back-up defensive midfielder.
It’s a big question whether Skibbe will call up Kourbelis and also keep faith in the young talent that were drafted into the squad recently. The smart money is that the German manager will hold onto the likes of Thanasis Androutsos and bring in Kourbelis and Giorgos Manthatis. It wouldn’t exactly be called a youth revolution, however it would a clear sign that Skibbe values what young Greek talent can bring to the table.
Goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis is set for a return to the team meaning that more than likely Dimitris Kyriakidis will be dropped from the squad.
There could be some more surprises depending on injuries, however for now the squad is expected comprise of the players that were selected for the Belgium match.
Below is the AGONAsport.com predicted squad for the match against Bosnia:
Goalkeepers: Orestis Karnezis, Stefanos Kapino, Panagiotis Glykos
Defenders: Kostas Manolas, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Vasilis Torosidis, Marios Oikonomou, Kostas Stafylidis, Babis Lykogiannis
Midfielders: Zeca, Manolis Siopis, Kostas Fortounis, Giannis Maniatis, Petros Mantalos, Alexandros Tziolis, Thanasis Androutsos, Dimitris Kourbelis
Forwards: Kostas Mitroglou, Giorgos Manthatis, Dimitris Diamantakos, Apostolos Vellios, Giannis Gianniotas, Tasos Bakasetas
*AGONAsport will provide a LIVE STREAM for Greece's match against Bosnia. Check back here for details.