Euro Qualifier Preview: Greece -v- Republic of Ireland

Adrien Rabiot of France slides in on Jason Mulumby of the Republic of Ireland

Adrien Rabiot of France slides in on Jason Mulumby of the Republic of Ireland Credit: Conor Ryan (ETPhotos)

The Boys in Green travel to Athens to face Greece at the Opap Arena in the second game of their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign. The game takes place on Friday, June 16th, with a 7:45pm kick-off.


The Greeks come into this game off the back of a routine 3-0 win away to minnows Gibraltar in their first group game. Greece has two wins, two draws, and one defeat in their last five outings.

They are enjoying a good spell under former Sunderland manager Gus Poyet, who currently has the highest win rate of any Greek manager after his first 12 games in charge.

Poyet has remarked in the build-up to the game that “this is a must win for both teams” in the battle for qualification alongside the two favourites to emerge from the group, France, and the Netherlands.

Greece’s most notable players include George Baldock, formerly of Sheffield United, Kostas Tsimikas of Liverpool, and former Celtic marksman Giorgos Giakoumakis who is enjoying a rich vein of form in the MLS with Atalanta United.

Former Arsenal player Konstantinos Mavropanos, who now is plying his trade in the Bundesliga with VFB Stuttgart, is their leader at the back, and his battle with Evan Ferguson should be a fascinating one.


Stephen Kenny’s team will be looking to get off the mark in the group following their narrow loss to France at the Aviva Stadium in March, a night that underlined the progress that is now being made by this Irish team under Kenny.

An outstanding save from Mike Maignan in added time from a Nathan Collins header prevented Ireland from taking what would have been a hugely important and well-deserved point against the French.

This was followed up by a less-than-convincing 3-2 win against Latvia in a friendly at the Aviva Stadium.

The one major positive from the game was young superstar Evan Ferguson opened his account at senior level with a goal. Irish fans will be hoping it is the first of many for Ferguson in an Irish shirt.

He will be expected to lead the line on Friday night and continue where he left off after an amazing first season with Brighton.

The Bettystown native scored six goals in the Premier League, the most for a teenager last season, and scored ten goals in total.

Kenny has spoken in his press conferences about the importance that a big away win in Athens could have on the group.

“That is the mindset of the group because we still have a lot of young players. To get that historical away win in Greece would be special for them all ... it would be a great achievement if they could accomplish that.”

Kenny has a fully fit squad for the trip to Athens and is expected to stick with his tried and trusted defence of Bazunu, Doherty, Collins, Egan, O’Shea, and James McClean who is closing in on a century of caps for his country.

Josh Cullen will be pulling the strings and should be partnered in the engine room by the energetic duo of Jason Molumby and Jason Knight.

An exciting strike force should feature young star Evan Ferguson alongside Micheal Obafemi.

Referee: Harald Lechner (Austria)


Greece are unbeaten against Ireland with two wins and a draw out of the last three encounters, the most recent one being a 1-0 win in a friendly in 2012.


Greece 1-1 Ireland


Injured: Fotis Ioannidis

Doubtful: Dimitris Giannoulis, Andreas Bouchalakis

Republic of Ireland

Injured: Seamus Coleman

Doubtful: None