SPORTS

Santos taking no risks on Malta

Greece coach Fernando Santos is apparently opting for the tried-and-tested recipe of the 4-2-3-1 formation for the Euro 2012 qualifier on Malta on March 26, a system that has made Greece invincible during his reign on the bench.

According to what the Portuguese manager showed in the March 23 training session at Nea Smyrni, he will only have one defensive midfielder (Costas Katsouranis) and another (Giorgos Karagounis) acting as the link between defense and attack.

In front of them will be Sotiris Ninis on the right, Giorgos Samaras on the left and Nikos Liberopoulos behind striker Dimitris Salpigidis, although all four will also act as forwards.

Alexis Tzorvas will likely be in goal, as Michalis Sifakis has been sidelined by injury. Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Avraam Papadopoulos will be at the center of the defense with Vassilis Torosidis on the right and Giorgos Tzavellas on the left.

Panayiotis Kone and Loukas Vintra both suffered minor injuries during training but are expected to be available for the 9 p.m. kickoff at Valletta.

“We will have to remain focused throughout the 90 minutes. The games you go into as the favorite can be the most dangerous,» said Bologna defender Vangelis Moras.

“History has shown that qualification depends on defeating inferior teams. We will have to try and score. We only care about what we do; once we have won we will see what the others do,» the center-back added.