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Greece v Northern Ireland background

As the sides reconvene in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying Group F, Greece have not met Northern Ireland since 2003, though that encounter in Athens was the start of an exciting adventure.

Preview: European qualifiers on 14 October ©AFP/Getty Images

The signs look good for Greece as they welcome Northern Ireland in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying Group F, with three home wins in the sides' previous three encounters in Greece.

Match background
• Greece's record in five matches against Northern Ireland is W4 D0 L1 (W3 D0 L0 at home, W1 D0 L1 in Belfast). That lone defeat came in a FIFA World Cup qualifier over 50 years ago.

• The sides' only previous encounters in this competition were in UEFA EURO 2004 qualifying. Angelos Charisteas (4 and 55) struck twice as Otto Rehhagel's side beat Sammy McIlroy's Northern Ireland 2-0 in Belfast on 2 April 2003, the home side's James Quinn sent off on 39 minutes.

• Vassilios Tsiartas converted a 68th-minute penalty in the return fixture in Athens on 11 October 2003 to confirm Greece's place in the finals in Portugal – an expedition that ended in the greatest triumph in Greek footballing history.

• Prior to that, the sides met in a friendly in Athens on 17 February 1988: Colin Clarke (32 and 76) twice gave the visitors the lead but Stelios Manolas (61 and 79) struck back twice before Tasos Mitropoulos (89) secured a 3-2 win.

• The sides' only other senior meetings came in 1962 FIFA World Cup qualifying. Having lost their first meeting in Athens on 3 May the same year, Northern Ireland beat Greece 2-0 in Belfast on 17 October 1961.

• The sides have met in four UEFA age-group tournaments, Greece recording three wins to Northern Ireland's one – the most recent of those encounters a 2-0 win for the visitors in Dungannon in a 2012 UEFA European Under-19 Championship tie.

• The nations' clubs have met in six UEFA matches to date, with the Greek sides' record W3 D2 L1. The most recent of those ties was very tight; Linfield FC won 1-0 at Xanthi FC in the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League second qualifying round but went down 2-1 after extra time in the return fixture in Belfast, losing the tie on away goals.