Soccer Picks: Romania vs. Greece World Cup Qualifier

Steven Suarez

Monday, November 18, 2013 4:20 PM UTC

Monday, Nov. 18, 2013 4:20 PM UTC

Greece has put itself a fabulous soccer pick to make the World Cup. They just need to avoid a crushing defeat in order to advance to Brazil next summer.

Odds Overview

For this deciding leg, the Romanians are favored in the +105 to +115 range at home. That leaves Greece at +300 or so, while a draw, which would see the Greeks secure World Cup qualification, is at +230 for the soccer odds.

How We Got Here

Romania finished second in a group that was won by Netherlands. They had six wins, one draw and three losses, giving them 19 total points, two more than Hungary and three more than Turkey.

Ciprian Marica has been the nation's leading scorer, as he's recorded five goals in qualifying so far, while Gabriel Torje has found the back of the net three times.

Greece was highly successful in their group, winning eight of ten matches for 25 total points. That put them in a tie with Bosnia, who ended up moving through as the number one seed.

Dimitrios Salpingidis and Konstantinos Mitroglou have both scored four goals in qualifying for the Greeks making it easy for sportsbooks to favor their squad.

The First Meeting

It was a great performance from the Greeks.

The first half was full of action, with Mitroglou opening the scoring after 14 minutes. Just five minutes later, Bogdan Stancu evened up the honors, only for Dimitris Salpingidis to give the hosts the lead again two minutes later.

In the second half, Mitroglou added another goal, a welcome cushion heading into the second leg in Romania.

In all, Greece had 10 shots, five of which were on goals, while the Romanians had seven shots with only one on target. Romania had more possession (55 percent) despite losing.

Who Goes Through?

The Greeks were the better side in the first meeting, imposing themselves physically and making the most of their chances in front of goal.

Now that they have a clear advantage, they can afford to be more cautious with their tactical approach. Greece is already known for their defensive discipline and we're likely to see a perfect example of that togetherness here on Tuesday.

On the other hand, you've got a Romania team that has nothing to lose and one that won't be afraid of. taking risks. Marica and Torje have proven they can put the ball in the back of the net and the Romanians need them at their best.

Nonetheless, a two-goal deficit is extremely tough to overcome, especially against an outfit like Greece. The Greeks gave up only four goals in qualifying, by far the best mark in Group G, and they also won four of their five group stage matches away from home.

Greece coach Fernando Santos has done a great job with this group and we see his passion and hard-work doing enough to move on. Sure to employ a much more defensive plan, look for Greece as your soccer pick to win out on aggregate while making life difficult on the Romanians.

Soccer Pick: Romania 1 Greece 1

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Final Aggregate: Romania 2 Greece 4

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