Must-win match with Moldova

Moldova is Greece’s next hurdle tonight on the road to the World Cup soccer finals. Hosting the game at the Karaiskaki stadium (9.30 p.m., Mega Channel) means the national team is the hot favorite for its third straight win in the group. The former Soviet republic may not be a giant in European soccer terms, but if the hosts underestimate them they may be made to pay in the way that Switzerland suffered a shocking loss at home to Luxembourg last month. «In today’s soccer there are no easy games,» commented midfielder Giorgos Karagounis yesterday, who will miss tonight’s match due to injury but is gearing up for Wednesday’s match with Switzerland. Right-back Giourkas Seitaridis will probably miss the match for lack of fitness, following an injury saga that also involves his club, Atletico Madrid. The Spanish side has demanded that he is rested. If he is, Loukas Vyntra or Christos Patsatzoglou are the likely replacements. In the other places, barring any surprises from coach Otto Rehhagel, Costas Chalkias will be in goal, Sotiris Kyrgiakos and Traianos Dellas will be at the center of defense and Vassilis Torosidis on the left. Angelos Basinas and Costas Katsouranis along with Patsatzoglou or Sotiris Ninis will be in midfield and Dimitris Salpigidis with Fanis Gekas and possibly Giorgos Samaras instead of Angelos Charisteas in attack. It appears, however, that the Greek team’s poor performances in last June’s European Championship are still keeping many fans away from the national team. «For me, the most painful thing is that on Saturday, as far as I know, the stadium will not be full. Generally the national team does not sell in Greece,» said Karagounis. Many tickets will still be available at the ground, priced at 15, 25 and 40 euros.

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