Personally I don't see it as bad as you guys.
I don't like Otto's picks (some of them), however I honestly think he will wise up with a few of them (Chari, Zagorakis) and it will instantly make us better for it. I do agree the team is on poor form, however I feel the qualification will be similar to last year, probably coming down to 1-2 games that you either make it or you don't. Like Ukraine in Athens, or Denmark in Copenhagen. If we had beaten Ukraine in Athens, we would have most likely been participating in WC 06. And it could have easily happened. 1 inch offside from Giannakopoulos and that goal stands. Any of our dozen chances to go in instead of constantly going out, and we have 3 pts and the whole group is different. It's the same with this group. Nobody in this group is hands down better than we are. Everybody will make mistakes and it will most likely go down to the last matchday. Whoever siezes the moment when their time comes will qualify, and that can be any team. Infact I feel we have a great shot to qualify in this group.
I believe Norway will finish first. And I believe 2nd will be a battle between Greece and Turkey. I think Norway will finish first because they are probably the most consistent of the big 3, with that said, it could easily be us or Turkey also... Infact I think our chances of being in the top 2 are very good.
What this group is going to boil down to is taking points when you are suppose to. Moldova and Malta must be 12 pts. Anybody who drops points in these games are going to be playing catch up. Realistically, Bosnia and Hungary should also be 12 pts, if you look at the results thus far. Definately in Athens we have to take 3 pts from each team, and I can see us battle out two 1-0 wins away from home. I believe all of the above is possible. Will it turn out that way? Most likely not. We could very well drop points in either Hungary or Bosnia, but we need at least to get a draw. Norway and Turkey ideally should be 6 points at home, there is no excuse. We can beat both in Athens. Away, if we set up shop and defend we can earn draws, just like we did in Istanbul and Ukraine last year.
Again, it all boils down getting points when you are suppose to. If we take care of business when we should, like our last game against Moldova, and leave with 3 pts it's all that matters. We controlled the game, we had our chances, and we finally scored a goal in the end and left with 3 pts. Moldova IS NOT a bad team at home. I believe one of the other teams could very well drop points here... Look at their home record in 06:
MDA:NOR 0:0 ***
Getting 3 pts in this game while it seems small IMO was not. We got the job done. This is what we must do. Each game presented to us go get the job done, leave with 3 pts and if we do this we will be in the top 2 when all is said and done. We MUST be there in 08 to defend out title (not that we are going to win it :rollani: ) because from this group, being champions in 04, it will be the ultimate embarressment. And I think we are better than that...
Last edited by Christos7; September 7th, 2006 at 16:59.