Unchanged Greece set for World Cup

Many teams have undergone major reshuffles since the Euro 2004 championships but eventual winner Greece is sticking to its winning formula. The side’s German coach, Otto Rehhagel, will send out virtually the same lineup tomorrow in Greece’s opening game against neighbor Albania. Rehhagel’s men then have a far tougher game against World Cup 2002 semifinalist Turkey on Wednesday. «You’re the European champions, so don’t spoil the good atmosphere you made in Portugal,» Rehhagel told his players, while pointing out that Albania beat Greece in a qualifier for World Cup 2002. «Even Germany had difficulties in Tirana,» he said. Tomorrow’s matches don’t have any eye-catching meetings, although there are several in the second round on Wednesday. As well as Greece-Turkey, there’s a rematch of the most exciting game of Euro 2004 – the Netherlands versus the Czech Republic. Albania’s coach, German Hans-Peter Briegel, will hope his team maintains its unbeaten home run against Greece. Albania has not lost at home since he took over almost two years ago. «A positive result for us would be not to lose,» the German said yesterday. Briegel said Euro 2004 showed that the Greek team had very few weak points, and Greece would expect nothing less than a win. «But like any other team, they are not perfect,» added Briegel, who spent the morning watching the Greek team on video with his players. The coach said the match would be won «by the one who shows more discipline, chiefly in defense.» (AP, Reuters)

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