Against All Odds: Tuesday October 11

Against All Odds
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11 October 2011 /
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107 Against All Odds

“In their last six, Greece only have a 50% win ratio on the road.”

Greece travel to Georgia this evening for a crucial Euro 2012 qualifier. While the Greeks are a far superior side, they only need a point, which makes an odds-on quote for the win a touch short. Paul Robinson introduces his lay of the day.

With ten points from nine matches, Georgia have had an ok qualifying campaign. They’ve only suffered defeat on three occasions as Newcastle legend, Temuri Ketsbaia, sets his side up to be very difficult to beat. Although they have nothing really to play for tonight, the Georgians can still finish fourth in the group with a win and that would help their FIFA ranking and give them slightly easier opponents for the qualifying stages of their next major tournament. They have only lost twice in their last six at home, recording wins against Malta and Estonia, and a highly impressive 1-0 victory against Croatia.

Greece have taken Group F by storm with six wins and three draws and they need only a single point to qualify as winners. That could be the issue tonight as Fernando Santos’ players may settle for a draw and just look to avoid defeat as opposed to going for the win. In their last six, the Greeks only have a 50% win ratio on the road, which includes draws in Latvia, Bosnia and Croatia, and they have only managed five goals in that period.

The two sides have already met in this group in a 1-1 draw; with a share of the points a real possibility tonight, I have to make Greece my lay of the day.

Recommended Bet
Lay Greece against Georgia @ [1.95]

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Venizelos Says Greece to Keep Promises as Deeper Debt Cut Looms

Oct. 11 (Bloomberg) — Greek Finance Minister Evangelos
Venizelos said the government will push through with commitments
to international creditors to deepen pension and wage cuts as
European leaders move to reopen talks on a support package that
may mean deeper writedowns on Greek debt.

“What needs to be done on our side is to do what we said
we will do by the end of October,” Venizelos told Athens-based
Mega TV in an interview today. He said the government would
secure parliamentary approval for the draft 2012 budget, which
was passed at the finance committee level yesterday, and budget
measures including a new wage scale and eventual lay-offs for
30,000 state workers.

Germany, Europe’s dominant economy, is pushing for a bigger
reduction in Greece’s debt burden to forge a lasting solution to
the debt crisis that has roiled markets and shaken confidence in
the euro. European leaders are struggling to develop a strategy
to shore up banks amid talk of deeper-than-planned writedowns on
Greek debt.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Oct. 9 after
meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy that a report from
the team of inspectors later this month will help determine the
next steps. Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme said yesterday a
crisis summit now scheduled for Oct. 23 should focus on boosting
the 440 billion-euro ($600 billion) rescue fund instead of
reopening the July accord to cut Greek bond values by an average
of 21 percent.

Germany’s Push

The European Central Bank also opposes Germany’s push to
rewrite the euro area’s 12 week-old-rescue plan as leaders
prepare the ground for a potential Greek default, a central bank
official said.

Venizelos said talks with the heads of the mission of
inspectors from the European Union, European Central Bank and
International Monetary Fund, backers of the original 110
billion-euro bailout, had effectively ended. The so-called
troika of creditors will need about 10 days to prepare its
report, Venizelos said.

A positive recommendation will aid the payment of 8 billion
euros under the EU-led bailout. Venizelos has said the country
has cash to operate till mid-November.

The search for a comprehensive fix led European leaders to
push back the crisis summit by five days. Prime Minister George
Papandreou plans to meet European Union President Herman Van
Rompuy in Brussels on Oct. 13.

Greece’s Debt

Greece’s debt load will climb to 172.7 percent of gross
domestic product in 2012, about double Germany’s, as the economy
contracts for a fifth year. Greek bank stocks yesterday slumped
amid talk of a deeper writedown of their holdings of government
bonds. National Bank of Greece SA, the largest, lost 13 percent
to 1.90 euros.

Venizelos told lawmakers yesterday that the government
expected an overall second financing package that’s better than
originally agreed in July, which provided for private sector
involvement, or PSI, entailing losses for bondholders.

“We expect a PSI-plus, a vehicle of participation with the
private sector, a total package which will be better than the
one originally designed,” Venizelos said.

Papandreou risks a replay of social and political unrest
that almost brought down his government in June when he was
forced to push through a 78 billion-euro package of budget cuts
and state asset sales before receiving a fifth loan payment
under the May 2010 bailout.

Garbage is piling up on city streets as local government
workers strike. Air traffic controllers staged a “go slow” for
the second day running yesterday while subway workers also
struck in opposition to the austerity measures. Public Power
Corp. SA workers blocked production at a southern Greek plant
today to protest plans to reduce wages, the state-run Athens
News Agency reported.

Greece’s biggest union groups will hold a 48-hour strike
from Oct. 18, state-run NET Radio reported.