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Friday, 14 December, 2018

Greece and Hungary look good bets for Nations League wins

Kostas Mitroglou is a quality striker

Kostas Mitroglou of Greece is fouled by Marouane Fellaini of Belgium
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Nations League
From 5pm Saturday

Greece are the only one of 15 League C teams in the Nations League to have won a major tournament and they can start out on the long road to Euro 2020 by beating Estonia in Tallinn.

Only one of the League C teams will guarantee themselves a place in the European Championship finals but Greece may still view the Nations League as their best chance of qualifying.

Given the drop in Greece's ranking - they are 29th in the latest Uefa coefficients - they are likely to be selected alongside some strong teams when the draw for European championship qualifying is made.

But they are undoubtedly one of the strongest teams in League C and are 5-4 favourites to reach next summer's playoffs by finishing top of Group Two at the expense of Estonia, Hungary and Finland.

Defence has often been Greece's strong point and that continues to be the case with Arsenal centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Roma defender Kostas Manolas in the squad.

Scoring goals has been more difficult but seasoned striker Kostas Mitroglou netted six times in World Cup qualifying and was on target in Marseille's 3-2 triumph at Monaco last Sunday.

Estonia do not have a forward of Mitroglou's quality and look the weak links in the section.

Finland and Hungary will be looking to challenge Greece for first place and much will depend on the outcome of their clash in Tampere, where the home side look poor value favourites.

The Finns have never qualified for a major tournament and were a distant fifth in their World Cup qualifying group after registering just two wins from ten games.

Hungary were third in their group (behind Portugal and Switzerland) but have had a tough year, suffering home defeats to Kazakhstan (3-2), Scotland (1-0) and Australia (2-1).

However, a change has been made in the dugout with Italian Marco Rossi replacing Georges Leekens and the new man might be able to get more out of a reasonably talented group of players, many of whom were part of the squad who reached the round of 16 at Euro 2016.

1pt 21-20 bet365, Hills
1pt 5-2 bet365

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Kostas Mitroglou netted six times in World Cup qualifying and was on target in Marseille's 3-2 triumph at Monaco last Sunday
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