Bosnia-Herzegovina coach Safet Susic will not be satisfied with anything other than a victory when his side face Group G rivals Greece in their FIFA World Cup™ qualifying clash in Zenica tomorrow. The two teams are locked together at the top of the group on ten points from four games, with their only dropped points coming from a goalless draw in Greece in October.
Susic knows a victory will give his side's hopes of reaching their first major finals a huge boost, with third-placed Slovakia three points off the pace going into tomorrow's fixtures. He told uefa.com: "We are stronger with each result which leaves us in a leading position, but if you ask me if I will be satisfied with a draw, I won't be. We will play to win, although we fully respect our opponents.
Bosnia-Herzegovina are without injured midfielder Sejad Salihovic, while 36-year-old CSKA Moscow midfielder Elvir Rahimic is recalled in his place after six months out of the national team set-up.
Greece coach Fernando Santos also acknowledged the importance of tomorrow's match for the winners, saying: "Whoever wins on Friday night will go very close towards qualifying."
If you ask me if I will be satisfied with a draw, I won't be. We will play to win.
The Greeks, whose two friendly matches since their qualifying win in Slovakia resulted in a 1-0 win over the Republic of Ireland in Dublin and a goalless home draw with Switzerland, are without Nikos Spyropoulos and Kyriakos Papadopoulos.
Third-placed Slovakia head into their qualifying clash against Lithuania in Zilina knowing they must get back to winning ways if they are to retain any realistic hope of keeping pace with the top two. The Slovakians have stumbled after a bright start in Group G, with their 1-0 home loss to Greece in October followed by successive friendly defeats away to the Czech Republic and Belgium respectively.
Lithuania's 3-0 loss against Bosnia-Herzegovina in October kept them stuck on four points from four games, and a subsequent 4-2 friendly defeat in Armenia did not inspire confidence in their qualification prospects. Also tomorrow night, Latvia travel to group minnows Liechtenstein looking for their second victory of the campaign after their 2-0 win over the same side in Riga in October.