The team: Since their shock win at Euro 2004, Greece have been on the international football radar. However, their FIFA World Cup record is less than impressive. This will be only their third appearance in the tournament, and the previous two times they’ve failed to advance from the group stage. On paper, few players stand out, but the same could have been said before they won Euro 2004. And their qualification form was strong, missing out on top spot only on goal difference to Bosnia and Herzegovina, before they comfortably defeated Romania in the playoffs. In a fairly open group, this could be their best chance yet of reaching the second round.
The coach: Fernando Santos
Having enjoyed success as a coach in both his native Portugal and Greece at domestic level, Fernando Santos will now be looking to bring some joy to the Greek national team on the world stage. Under Santos, expect what has become a typical Greece performance: a well-organised defence and narrow victories.
Key player: Konstantinos Mitroglou
Having signed for Premier League side Fulham for a reported club record fee of £12 million, and almost immediately finding himself out of favour, Konstantinos Mitroglou will want to prove a point at the FIFA World Cup. The striker will need to be at his clinical best if he’s to fire Greece into the knockout stages.
World ranking: 10
World Cup appearances: 2
Previous best: Group stage in 1994 and 2010
Qualification: Second in group and playoff winner
Form (qualifiers): WWDWLWWWWWWD
Fixtures: June 14 vs. Colombia; June 20 vs. Japan; June 25 vs. Cote d’Ivoire