European Championship in focus: Spotlighting Greece

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Oh, no. Not these guys, again. Didn’t they trudge their way to a title a few years ago? And now they’re back? Yeesh.

That’s going to be the general consensus, with the pragmatic approach Greece employed to win Euro 2004 proving more memorable than the accomplishment. Clearly, that’s not very fair, especially considering Otto Rehhagel’s team played three 2-1s while eliminating Spain and Russia in group stage.

Still, it’s tough to call Greece’s label pure misconception when the team’s spent the last eight years living down to the hype. People have expected boredom, and Greece has duly delivered, and even though they have qualified for (now) three major tournaments in a how, nobody sees their national team schedule a friendly with Greece and think “I can’t wait.”

That doesn’t mean they aren’t good (they went undefeated in qualifying). It just means you might not have trouble getting a ticket when Greece comes to town.

Man that matters:

Theofanis Gekas: As you’d expect from a team synonymous with cures for insomnia, scoring has been a problem for Greece. Who knows if that’s a stylistic concern, a function of their talent, or a chicken-egg scenario (are we conservative because we can’t score, or do we not score because we’re conservative).

Gekas is the one player who can get goals. He’s the only player on Greece’s roster with more than 20 international tallies (Nikos Lyberpoulous is the one other player in double digits), and having consistently found net during club spells in Greece, Germany and (most recently) Turkey, the 32-year-old striker has experience to leverage.

The only issue: Of his 21 career international goals, only three have come against teams in Euro 2012.

First-round games:

June 8: vs. Poland (Warsaw, Poland)
June 12: vs. Czech Republic (Warsaw, Poland)
June 16: vs. Russia (Warsaw, Poland)

Foursome of knowledge:

  • Despite concerns over Greece’s style, the team is still a bit of an unknown. After World Cup 2010, Rehhagel was replaced as head coach by Fernando Santos, who led them to seven wins, no losses in qualifying. Since, Greece has been less convincing, accumulating three draws and a loss in four friendlies. Along the way, the Greeks have managed to find some goals, scoring 18 times in 14 matches. Given a relatively weak Euro qualifying group, that total should be higher.
  • Two important cogs remain from Greece’s 2004 title winner: Panathinaikos midfielders Kostas Katsouranis and Giorgos Karagounis. Katsouranis started the 2004 final against Portugal, while Karagounis scored the tournament’s first goal. Together, they have 214 caps, are a combined 67 years old, and are expected to start in Santos’s midfield.
  • On the other end of the age spectrum, Greece have a handful of youngsters expected to play parts in Poland. Panathinaikos 22-year-old midfielder Sotiris Ninis is an expected starter. Kostas Mitroglou (24, Olympiakos) and Giannis Fetfetzidis (22, Olympiakos) could be impact subs, while 19-year-old Kostas Fortounis (Kaiserslautern) has earned a place in the squad after making his senior debut in February.
  • Greece’s 2004 title was the only time the country has made it out of group in a major competition. In their five other major tournaments, Greece has won only one match, defeating Nigeria at the 2010 World Cup.

Where they are going:

Greece has failed to impress since the end of qualifying, and within their larger body of work, their 2004 title looks like a fluke. They did go through qualifying undefeated (taking four points from Croatia in the process), and while it wouldn’t be a shock to see Santos steer them through an evenly matched Group A, third is the more probable finish.


Goalkeepers: Kostas Chalkias (PAOK), Alexandros Tzorvas (Palermo), Michalis Sifakis (Aris Thessaloniki)

Defenders: Giannis Maniatis (Olympiakos), Giorgis Tzavelas (Monaco), Stelios Malezas (PAOK), Kryiakos Papadopoulos (Schalke 04), Avraam Papadopoulos (Olympiakos), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Werder Bremen), Vasilis Torosidis (Olympiakos), José Holebas (Olympiakos)

Midfielders: Alexandros Tziolis (Monaco), Giorgos Karagounis (Panathinaikos), Giorgis Fotakis (PAOK), Sotiris Ninis (Panathinaikos), Panagiotis Kone (Bologna), Kostas Katsouranis (Panathinaikos), Grigoris Makos (AEK Athens), Giannis Fetfatzidis (Olympiakos), Kostas Fortounis (Kaiserslautern

Forwards: Giorgis Samaras (Celtic), Nikos Lyberopoulos (AEK Athens), Kostas Mitroglou (Atromitos), Dimitris Salpigidis (PAOK), Theofanis Gakes (Samsunspor)

ProSoccerTalk is doing its best to keep you up to date on what’s going on in Poland and Ukraine. Check out the site’s Euro 2012 page and look at the site’s previews, predictions, and coverage of all the events defining UEFA’s championship.

Erling Haaland injury update: Man City star leaves Norway squad


Manchester City star Erling Haaland has left the Norway squad after suffering a groin injury.

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Haaland, 22, joined up with Norway for their EURO 2024 qualifiers but has been sent back to Manchester City for treatment.

The Norwegian striker has been in stunning form in recent weeks, scoring nine goals in his last three games in all competitions for City (including five against RB Leipzig in the Champions League and a hat trick against Burnley in the FA Cup) before the break.

He has scored 42 (yes, forty two) goals in all competitions for Man City this season.

However, Pep Guardiola and Man City now face an anxious wait as an injury to Erling Haaland is the last thing they wanted before a pivotal final few months of the season as they chase the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble.

What is the latest update?

Norway’s team doctor, Ola Sand, gave an update on Haaland’s injury.

“We hoped that this was just a familiarity that would carry over to Saturday, but after doing tests and examinations yesterday it became clear that he will not make it to the games against Spain and Georgia,” Sand said. “It is better that he receives medical follow-up at the club.”

Norway face Spain on Saturday and Georgia next Tuesday, so it seems like Haaland is in a race to be fit for Man City’s games after the international break.

Which games could he miss?

After the international break Man City are playing in the first game of the weekend as they host Liverpool on Saturday, Apr. 1 at the Etihad Stadium.

It seems like Haaland could be struggling to be fully fit for that game, and maybe even the trip to Southampton on Apr. 8, so Pep Guardiola may choose to rest him for their massive UEFA Champions League quarterfinal first leg against Bayern Munich on Apr. 11.

Given the form Haaland is in right now, it will be a blow for City if he does miss the next few games but the last thing they want is any long-term damage. Plus, it’s helpful to have the likes of World Cup winner Julian Alvarez in reserve to step in for Haaland.

Premier League table, 2022-23 season

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If it’s the 2022-23 Premier League table you’re after, you’ve come to the right place.

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After the break for the 2022 World Cup, the Premier League returned with a bang and the start to 2023 has delivered plenty of fun.

Now we are approaching the final few months of the campaign, it is so tight up and down the Premier League table.

Who’s looking like title contenders and/or favorites?

As we head into the final months of the 2022-23 season, Arsenal and Manchester City are looking head and shoulders above the rest and although Manchester United briefly surged into the picture, they look more likely to cement their spot as the third best team in the Premier League.

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The Gunners will have their hands full for the duration of their title challenge, as Erling Haaland continues to take the Premier League by storm with an almost impossible goal-scoring record.

What about the top four and European places?

Uneven Tottenham are hanging in the top four battle and for the moment have hunted down Newcastle, while Liverpool is back in the Champions League picture after their return to form and Chelsea looks like a top six finish is their ceiling. For now.

Surprising Fulham, Brentford, and Brighton are all hanging around on the periphery with fine campaigns. Can one of them surprise and qualify for Europe?

Who are the candidates for relegation?

Southampton, West Ham, and Bournemouth currently occupy the relegation places but that keeps changing all the time and it is so tight at the bottom of the table.

Nottingham Forest, Leicester City, Wolves, Leeds, Everton and Crystal Palace all find themselves within a few points of the bottom three as the race to stay in the Premier League intensifies. This could be the craziest relegation scrap in Premier League history.

Below you will find the latest Premier League table.

Premier League table – March 19

Premier League standings

NBC Sports’ standings and scoreboard

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USMNT upcoming schedule – Nations League, friendlies, Gold Cup


After reaching the last 16 of the 2022 World Cup, the USMNT have a big 2023 coming up as they aim to build off a successful showing on the world’s biggest stage.

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For the next few months CONCACAF Nations League takes center stage, while the program is very much in transition as Anthony Hudson takes temporary charge and both the GM (Brian McBride) and Sporting Director (Earnie Stewart) left in recent months.

As for now, here is the USMNT’s upcoming schedule for 2023, with plenty more games to be added based on their potential qualification for the 2023 Gold Cup on home soil.

How to watch USMNT

TV channels in English: HBO Max, TNT
TV channels en Español:
Universo, Telemundo Deportes
Streaming en Español: Peacock

USMNT upcoming schedule

* Friendly | ** CONCACAF Nations League | *** 2022 World Cup


vs. Serbia* — Jan. 25, 10 pm ET — Loss 2-1 | Recap & highlights
vs. Colombia* — Jan. 28, 7:30 pm ET — Draw 0-0 | Recap & highlights
at Grenada** — March 24, 8 pm ET — St. George’s, Grenada
vs El Salvador** — March 27, 7:30pm ET — Orlando, Florida
vs Mexico* — April 19, 10:22pm ET — Glendale, Arizona – More details 

2023 Gold Cup from June 16 to July 19 (USMNT yet to qualify)

USMNT games in 2022

vs. Morocco* — June 1 — Win 3-0
vs. Uruguay* — June 5 — Draw 0-0
vs. Grenada** — June 10 — Win 5-0
at El Salvador** — June 14 — Draw 1-1
vs Japan* — Sept. 23 (in Dusseldorf, Germany) — Loss 2-0
vs Saudi Arabia* — Sept. 27 (in Murcia, Spain) — Draw 0-0

USMNT at 2022 World Cup

Group B
vs. Wales*** — Nov. 21, 2 pm ET — Draw 1-1
vs. England*** — Nov. 25, 2 pm ET — Draw 0-0
vs. Iran*** — Nov. 29, 2 pm ET — Win 1-0

Last 16
vs. Netherlands*** — Dec. 3, 10 am ET — Loss 3-1

USMNT 2022 World Cup qualifying scores, recaps, analysis

at El Salvador — Sept. 2Draw 0-0
vs. Canada — Sept. 5 — Draw 1-1
at Honduras — Sept. 8 — Win 4-1

vs. Jamaica — Oct. 7 — Win 1-0
at Panama — Oct. 10 — Loss 0-1
vs. Costa Rica — Oct. 13 — Win 2-1

vs. Mexico — Nov. 12 — Win 2-0
at Jamaica — Nov. 16 — Draw 1-1

vs. El Salvador — Jan. 27 — Win 1-0
at Canada — Jan. 30 — Loss 0-2
vs. Honduras — Feb. 2 — Win 3-0

at Mexico — March 24 — Draw 0-0 
vs. Panama — March 27 — Win 5-1
at Costa Rica — March 30 — Loss 0-2 

Final CONCACAF World Cup qualifying standings

Canada — 28 points – (QUALIFIED) GD +16 – automatic qualification
Mexico — 28 points (QUALIFIED) GD +9 – automatic qualification
USMNT — 25 points – (QUALIFIED) GD +11 – automatic qualification

Costa Rica — 25 points (PLAYOFF) GD +5

Panama — 21 points (ELIMINATED)
Jamaica — 14 points (ELIMINATED)
El Salvador — 10 points (ELIMINATED)
Honduras — 4 points (ELIMINATED)

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USMNT roster for Nations League features Gio Reyna, no Tyler Adams


The USMNT will be without captain Tyler Adams when they play a pair of CONCACAF Nations League games later this month, but they will have 13 members of the 2022 World Cup squad, including Christian Pulisic and Gio Reyna, as confirmed by U.S. Soccer on Wednesday.

The Yanks will also not have Timothy Weah, who suffered a scary concussion for Lille versus Toulouse on Sunday. He’s been replaced by AZ Alkmaar’s Djordje Mihailovic.

[ MORE: USMNT to face rivals Mexico in April friendly ]

Adams will miss the games against Gernada (March 24) and El Salvador (March 27) after suffering a hamstring injury during a recent training session with Leeds United.

Reyna’s place within the team and program had come into question in the weeks and months since the World Cup, with events and an investigation transpiring involving former/a candidate to remain USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter and Gio’s parents, Claudio and Danielle. Interim head coach Anthony Hudson explained Reyna’s inclusion as a decision to “move forward.”

[ MORE: USMNT upcoming schedule – Nations League, friendlies, Gold Cup ]

“It became a bit more complex in the months since the World Cup, but as far as we’re concerned Gio is a part of our program,” Hudson said. “He’s a good guy and a top talent, and he is evaluated like any other player. We made the roster decisions based on what gives the team the best opportunity to win these games, and we brought him in because we think he can help us do that.”

Full USMNT roster for 2022-23 CONCACAF Nations League

Goalkeepers (3): Ethan Horvath (Luton Town), Zack Steffen (Middlesbrough), Matt Turner (Arsenal)

Defenders (8): Sergiño Dest (AC Milan/), Mark McKenzie (Genk), Tim Ream (Fulham/), Bryan Reynolds (Westerlo), Antonee Robinson (Fulham), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United), Joe Scally (Borussia Monchengladbach/), Auston Trusty (Birmingham City)

Midfielders (7): Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United), Johnny Cardoso (Internacional), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo), Weston McKennie (Leeds United), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Alan Sonora (Juárez), Djordje Mihailovic (AZ Alkmaar)

Forwards (6): Taylor Booth (Utrecht), Daryl Dike (West Bromwich Albion), Ricardo Pepi (Groningen), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), Alejandro Zendejas (Club America)

EDIT: Tim Weah (Lille) was originally called up, but exited due to a head injury.

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