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Ketsbaia returns to Greece with Georgia

Published: Tuesday 31 August 2010, 21.45CET
Temuri Ketsbaia vowed "as long as we have a chance, we will fight" as his Georgia side visit Greece, where the 42-year-old spent three years as a player, for both sides' Group F opener.
Ketsbaia returns to Greece with Georgia
Giourkas Seitaridis (left) challenges Georgia's Levan Kobiashvili ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

GreeceGeorgia

Goals scored14
 
7
Total attempts137
 
120
Attempts on target54
 
41
Attempts off target63
 
61
Attempts blocked0
 
0
Attempts against woodwork0
2
Corners52
 
49
Offsides29
 
20
Yellow cards27
 
20
Red Cards1
 
0
Fouls committed138
 
123
Fouls suffered157
 
126
 
Published: Tuesday 31 August 2010, 21.45CET

Ketsbaia returns to Greece with Georgia

Temuri Ketsbaia vowed "as long as we have a chance, we will fight" as his Georgia side visit Greece, where the 42-year-old spent three years as a player, for both sides' Group F opener.

Georgia coach Temuri Ketsbaia will return to the country he once called home and Greece's new boss Fernando Santos will be making his competitive debut when the two sides open their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying accounts in Group F.

Team news
• Panathinaikos FC forward Antonis Petropoulos promised "to work very hard" after receiving his first Greece call-up, while fellow newcomer Panagiotis Kone, a midfielder at Brescia Calcio, expressed his gratitude to coach Fernando Santos, vowing "to prove on the pitch that I deserve this honour". This will be Greece's first competitive game since the departure of German coach Otto Rehhagel.

Greece squad
Goalkeepers:
Alexandros Tzorvas (Panathinaikos FC), Michalis Sifakis (Aris Thessaloniki FC)
Defenders:
Loukas Vyntra (Panathinaikos FC), Giourkas Seitaridis (Panathinaikos FC), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (AC Milan), Avraam Papadopoulos (Olympiacos FC), Stelios Malezas (PAOK FC), Nikos Spyropoulos (Panathinaikos FC), Giorgos Tzavellas (Eintracht Frankfurt), Giannis Maniatis (Panionios GSS)
Midfielders:
Kostas Katsouranis (Panathinaikos FC), Sotiris Ninis (Panathinaikos FC), Alexandros Tziolis (Real Racing Club), Vassilis Torosidis (Olympiacos FC), Giorgos Karagounis (Panathinaikos FC), Pantelis Kafes (AEK Athens FC), Panagiotis Kone (Brescia Calcio)
Forwards:
Antonis Petropoulos (Panathinaikos FC), Dimitris Salpingidis (PAOK FC), Giorgos Samaras (Celtic FC), Kostas Mitroglou (Olympiacos FC), Fanis Gekas (Eintracht Frankfurt)

• Georgia coach Ketsbaia staged a training camp in Cyprus ahead of the Greece game, adding to his options by bringing in 17-year-old FC Spartak Moskva midfielder Jano Ananidze and TSV 1860 München striker Mate Vatsadze. "It's hard to demand that we reach the finals given that the team has not won for so long [Georgia secured no victories in FIFA World Cup qualifying], but I would be lying if I said I wasn't dreaming of Poland and Ukraine," conceded Ketsbaia, 42. "As long as we have a chance, we will fight."

Georgia squad
Goalkeepers:
Nukri Revishvili (FC Anzhi Makhachkala), Giorgi Loria (FC Dinamo Tbilisi), Grigol Bediashvili (FC Olimpi Rustavi)
Defenders:
Kakhaber Kaladze (AC Milan), Malhaz Asatiani (FC Lokomotiv Moskva), Aleksandr Amisulashvili (Kayserispor), Lasha Salukvadze (FC Rubin Kazan), David Kvirkvelia (FC Rubin Kazan), Ucha Libzhanidze (FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk), Mate Gvinianidze (TSV 1860 München).
Midfielders: Levan Kobiashvili (Hertha BSC Berlin), Zurab Khizanishvili (Blackburn Rovers FC), Gogita Gogua (FC Spartak Nalchik), Jano Ananidze (FC Spartak Moskva), Giorgi Merebashvili (FK Vojvodina), Aleksandr Koshkadze (FC Dinamo Tbilisi), Tornike Aptsiauri (FC Zestafoni)
Forwards: Vladimir Dvalishvili (Maccabi Haifa FC), Aleksandr Iashvili (Karlsruher SC), David Siradze (FC Spartak Nalchik), Nikoloz Gelashvili (FC Zestafoni)

Match background
• Greece's record in five games against Georgia reads W5 D0 L0 (W3 D0 L0 at home).

• Ketsbaia represented AEK Athens FC from 1994 to 1997, winning two Greek Cups. His opposite number, Santos, coached AEK on two occasions, in 2001/02 and from 2004 to 2006.

• This will be the sixth meeting between the two nations. Their first was a friendly in Ioannina on 8 May 1996 and Greece's 2-1 success set a worrying precedent for their opponents; Georgia have lost all four of their competitive meetings since.

• Ketsbaia played in both legs when the two teams locked horns in UEFA EURO 2000 qualifying, and after suffering a 3-0 defeat in Athens he struck his side's goal in a 2-1 reverse in Tbilisi.

• More recently, the nations were pooled together in 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying; with Santos's predecessor, Otto Rehhagel, at the helm, Greece prevailed 3-1 in Georgia and 1-0 at home.

• Thus, Georgia have not scored in a competitive fixture in Greece in two attempts.

Last updated: 31/08/10 13.47CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/news/newsid=1515878.html#ketsbaia+makes+greece+return

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