SPORTS

Greece ‘has plenty to lose’

On March 21 the national team began preparing for the Euro 2012 qualifying match in Malta on March 26, knowing that nothing less than victory will do.

With Celtic?s Giorgos Samaras the only absentee, having played in the Scottish League Cup Final less than a day earlier, the rest of the 19-man squad that coach Fernando Santos called up had its first training session in the morning at the Vouliagmeni stadium.

Samaras, who recently signed an extension to his contract with the Bhoys until 2014, was set to join the rest of the squad later on March 21.

”Victory is our target,” said midfielder Costas Katsouranis. ”This is a tricky game. We have plenty to lose and nothing to earn besides the three points. Our opponent has nothing to lose. Let’s beat Malta and then see what we can do,” the Panathinaikos player added.

Three days after the match against Malta, Greece will host Poland for a friendly in Piraeus.

Greece usually trains at the Aghios Cosmas ground, but that venue is temporarily closed. The national team therefore moved to the municipal stadium of Vouliagmeni in southern Athens, but the pitch was in such poor condition that Santos did not allow his players to train using balls.

The next training session will take place at the Nea Smyrni stadium.