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History favours Poland for Greece opener

Having won ten of their 15 previous meetings against Greece, co-hosts Poland have reason for confidence as they kick off Group A against the 2004 champions in Warsaw.

Background: Poland v Greece ©Cyfrasport

Poland have history on their side as they seek to begin UEFA EURO 2012 on a victorious note having won ten of their previous 15 meetings with Greece – although the 2004 champions will recall their glorious summer eight years ago began against a host country.

Head-to-head record
• Poland's record in 15 games against Greece reads W10 D2 L3 F29 A11.

• Poland have won four of the teams' last five meetings and are unbeaten in the last six fixtures. However, Greece triumphed in their last competitive match, winning 1-0 in Athens in a UEFA European Championship qualifier in April 1987 thanks to Dimitris Saravakos's 57th-minute goal.

• Poland's Dariusz Dziekanowski scored in three of the teams' four competitive meetings, notching five goals during 1986 FIFA World Cup and 1988 UEFA European Championship qualifiers.

• Greece have yet to avoid defeat in Poland. Eight visits have brought eight losses with four goals scored and 22 conceded.

• Greece have not scored in the sides' last four contests. Their last goal came from Panagiotis Tsalouchidis in a 2-1 home defeat in Volos on 19 December 1990.

• Poland were also winners when the teams met on 29 May 2004, a Michalis Kapsis own goal separating the sides in Szczecin, although it was Greece who went on to UEFA EURO 2004 and glory just a few weeks later.

• The next meeting, in Bydgoszcz on 12 August 2009, was memorable for Ludovic Obraniak who came on as second-half substitute, opened the scoring within two minutes and added a second in the 79th minute.

• The teams last met in Greece in March 2011, playing out a goalless draw.

Selected previous meeting
29 March 2011: Greece 0-0 Poland – Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium, Piraeus, friendly
Chalkias, Vyntra, Moras, Papadopoulos, Lagos, Kone (Liberopoulos 67), Kafes, Karagounis (Katsouranis 73), Fetfatzidis (Torossidis 77), Mitroglou (Ninis 58), Samaras (Salpingidis77).
Poland: Sandomierski, Piszczek, Żewłakow (Jodłowiec 63), Głowacki, Sadlok, Mierzejewski (Murawski 46), Dudka, Obraniak (Roger Guerreiro 83), Błaszczykowski, Peszko (Grosicki 77), Lewandowski (Kucharczyk 83).

• Poland's former Olympiacos FC defender Michał Żewłakow won a record-breaking 102nd cap for his country in the game, his last international appearance.

Form guide
• Poland have not played a competitive game since losing 1-0 at home against Slovakia in their final 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier on 14 October 2009. They finished that campaign in a disappointing fifth place in the six-team section.

• Poland failed to win a game in their last major finals appearance, drawing one and losing two in the group stage as they made their continental finals debut at UEFA EURO 2008.

• This is only Poland's second UEFA European Championship finals tournament. By contrast, they have featured in seven World Cups, starting with a brief appearance at the 1938 finals in France.

• Greece come into the finals on a ten-game unbeaten run in competitive internationals, having won seven and drawn three of their qualifiers since bowing out of the 2010 World Cup finals with a 2-0 loss against Argentina.

• Greece lost all three of their games at UEFA EURO 2008, meaning they are without a victory in the final tournament since beating Portugal 1-0 in the final of UEFA EURO 2004.

Team ties
• No Greek international has played for an Ekstraklasa club but Polish players have starred in Greece. Striker Krzysztof Warzycha scored 244 times in 390 games for Panathinaikos FC from 1989 to 2004, also taking Greek citizenship.

• Józef Wandzik, who made 249 appearances for the same club, went on to become one of many Polish coaches to work in Greece – among them Jacek Gmoch (13 clubs including Olympiacos, Panathinaikos and AEK Athens FC), Kazimierz Górski (four clubs including Panathinaikos and Olympiacos), Antoni Brzeżańczyk, Andrzej Strejlau, Marcin Bochynek, Henryk Kasperczak, Grzegorz Lato, Jerzy Kopa, Eugeniusz Piechaczek, Janusz Pekowski and Jacek Kowalik.

• Roger Guerreiro, who is not in the Poland squad, has been a team-mate of Grigoris Makos and Nikos Liberopoulos at AEK Athens FC since August 2009. Guerreiro scored Poland's only goal – the opener in the 1-1 draw with co-hosts Austria – at UEFA EURO 2008.

• Marcin Wasilewski's RSC Anderlecht beat AEK 4-1 in Brussels in the UEFA Europa League on 15 September 2011 and 2-1 in Athens on 1 December 2011. Liberopoulos captained AEK in the first game and Makos in the second.

• Wojciech Szczęsny was in goal for Arsenal FC when they beat Olympiacos 2-1 in London in the UEFA Champions League on 28 September 2011. Vassilis Torossidis was on the other side.

• For Olympiacos' 3-1 return win in Greece on 6 December, Łukasz Fabiański – a late withdrawal from Poland's squad – started for Arsenal but went off injured after 25 minutes. Torossidis was joined by international team-mate Avraam Papadopoulos in the home lineup.

• Fabiański was also between the posts when Arsenal were beaten 1-0 at Olympiacos on 9 December 2009, when Papadopoulos was in the home team.

• Robert Lewandowski and Łukasz Piszczek were in the Borussia Dortmund side who beat Olympiacos 1-0 in the UEFA Champions League group stage on 1 November 2011, Jakub Błaszczykowski coming off the bench in the 75th minute. Papadopoulos was again in the visiting side, as was José Holebas.

• Holebas had scored Olympiacos' opening goal in a 3-1 defeat of Dortmund on 19 October. Papadopoulos was also in the Olympiacos team, with Lewandowski, Piszczek and substitute Błaszczykowski all featuring again for Dortmund.

• From January to June 2009 Jakub Wawrzyniak was at Panathinaikos alongside Dimitris Salpingidis, Sotiris Ninis, Giorgos Karagounis, Alexandros Tzorvas and Kostas Katsouranis.

• Piszczek and Fanis Gekas were team-mates at Hertha BSC Berlin between January and June 2010.

• On 5 November 2009 Sokratis Papastathopoulos came on as a substitute in Genoa CFC's 3-2 victory against Obraniak's LOSC Lille Métropole in the UEFA Europa League group stage.

• On 20 September 2007 Panionios GSS won 2-0 at FC Sochaux-Montbéliard in a UEFA Cup first round first leg with Giannis Maniatis and Grigoris Makos in the visitors' lineup and Poland's Damien Perquis starting for the French side. All four also started Sochaux's 1-0 second-leg victory.

• On 13 December 2006, in the UEFA Cup group stage, Paweł Brożek scored Wisła Kraków's sole goal in a 3-1 defeat at Feyenoord. Dariusz Dudka was sent off after 79 minutes for Wisła, who also included Błaszczykowski.

• On 9 August 2005 Błaszczykowski, Dudka and Brożek started for Wisła when they defeated Panathinaikos 3-1 in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round. Brożek scored the first goal against a Panathinaikos team that featured Gekas in the starting lineup.

• Two weeks later Panathinaikos won 4-1 after extra time to eliminate a Wisła side that featured Dudka and Brożek in their starting lineup. Gekas started for Panathinaikos.

• As head coach of FC Porto, Fernando Santos faced Wisła in the second round of the 2000/01 UEFA Cup, drawing 0-0 in Poland and winning 3-0 in Portugal.

• Santos was coach to former Polish international striker Grzegorz Mielcarski at Porto (1998/99), defender Mirosław Sznaucner at PAOK FC (2007-2010), and strikers Warzycha and Emmanuel Olisadebe at Panathinaikos (2002/03).

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