We can deliver - Papastathopoulos
Published : 16 Jun 2012 09:17:34Rss feed
Sokratis Papastathopoulos is confident Greece's ability to win when it matters will help them stun Russia in Saturday night's do-or-die European Championship clash in Warsaw.
Papastathopoulos, who returns after missing Tuesday's 2-1 Group A defeat to Czech Republic following his red card against Poland, knows nothing more than victory will do if the surprise 2004 champions are to avoid another early tournament exit.
"We tend to prevail in the key matches, so that is what we all hope happens," Papastathopoulos said. "What's important to concentrate on is that we need just one win to make it through."
Striker Fanis Gekas, who scored against the Czechs, added: "Everyone will have to be on their game. I think the way things have turned out could be an advantage - qualification is in our hands and pressure will be on the Russians too."
Five of Russia's players come from Premier League champions Zenit St Petersburg and Greece head coach Fernando Santos said: "They link up automatically, because their players all know each other.
"They have so many from Zenit and CSKA Moscow. That makes them very strong on the counter-attack. So I think we are very well aware of their abilities and it's up to us to counter them."
Russia star Alan Dzagoev urged his country's fans not to bring further shame on the country. The violent, offensive and unsafe behaviour of Russian supporters has already landed the Football Union of Russia a huge fine and a suspended six-point deduction for their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.
Any repeat could see that deduction enacted by UEFA and CSKA midfielder Dzagoev said of fans: "Maybe they should be more calm. We don't need to lose six points in the next qualification so we don't want anything bad for our national team."
Manager Dick Advocaat reacted angrily to questions about Russia fans' conduct in Tuesday's 1-1 draw against Poland.
"Are you really going to ask me these types of questions?" he said. "We're going to be playing a very important game and you're going to ask me questions like this?"
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