Ranieri to blood youngsters as Greece take on Romania
Former Chelsea coach Claudio Ranieri faces his Greece bow, as they take on Romania in their first Euro 2016 qualifying match. The Pirate Ship is evens to beat their opponents, who are 10/3, and striker Kostas Mitroglou is 5/4 to score anytime, having netted on eight occasions in 35 appearances for his country.
Ranieri, meanwhile, is positive that he made the right decision taking post, and is looking forward to his time in charge. “I’m very happy to coach the national team of Greece and, although I had other proposals, I chose this one operating on instinct,” he said.
“I came here to take the team as high as possible. Our immediate aim is to qualify for Euro 2016 in France – it won’t be easy but we have the potential and the talent to succeed.
“It’s a great challenge. I believe in young players and there will be ample opportunities for them to show their potential,” continued the 62-year-old, who has also previously managed Monaco, Valencia, Parma, Juventus, AS Roma and Inter Milan.
The Italian manager has also said he is willing to give youth a chance following the retirement of long-serving captain Giorgos Karagounis.
“I am very interested in working with the younger players, who are the future of the team, and I will be in contact with the clubs in an effort to work with them on a regular basis.”
“I will be telling the players that being captain is very important,” said Ranieri. “You represent the whole team and the country.
“The next captain will be selected by elections. The individual should have the charisma to be able to bear the burden of having such a title.”
Romania, however, could be a serious threat having beaten the Greeks in 17 of their previous 23 meetings. Star striker Ciprian Marica, who was linked to Arsenal last season, has scored 24 goals in 69 appearances, and is 11/4 to net anytime.