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Their pride wounded by Saturday's 4-1 home defeat by Turkey, European champions Greece will look to redeem themselves with victory against Malta on Wednesday.
Greece begin as overwhelming favourites despite their confidence taking a battering at the weekend with their first loss in UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifying. Turkey top Group C with 12 points from four matches, Greece have nine, with Bosnia-Herzegovina, Norway and Malta still in contention. "This is the time to stand up and be strong," said midfielder Stylianos Giannakopoulos. "There is no excuse for conceding four goals and we must now win in Malta and get our campaign back on track."
Defender Traianos Dellas has warned critics not to write the team off yet. "We will win in Malta - we must stay united and we will qualify," he said. Striker Ioannis Amanatidis and right-back Giourkas Seitaridis are both out so coach Otto Rehhagel could shuffle his pack, with in-form Theofanis Gekas, Loukas Vintra and Vassilios Torosidis all likely starters in Ta' Qali.
Malta might not harbour hopes of challenging for a place in Austria and Switzerland but their haul of four points from four games should elicit a degree of wariness from the Greeks. Under the meticulous guidance of Czech coach Dušan Fitzel, Malta appear to be making strides, following up a 2-1 home victory over Hungary last October with Saturday's 1-1 draw in Moldova. Fitzel said: "Turkey, Greece and Norway are the top teams in the group. It's never easy for a small nation like Malta to compete but every game starts at 0-0 and anything can happen."
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