Santos: Greece are 'on track'
Heading into the match on the back of a narrow, hard-fought 1-0 win over Latvia at the weekend, Santos was quick to take the positives from the victory as they look to build momentum in the race for a spot at the tournament in Poland and Ukraine.
Vassilis Torosidis' second-half strike earned Greece three vital points against the Latvians at the Georgios Karaiskakis stadium in Athens, though the right-back will miss tomorrow's clash after earlier being booked for diving in the first half to incur a one-match suspension. Next up is another home tie, with Israel this time providing the opposition, and Santos wants to build on Friday's win.
"It was a fair victory against Latvia," he said. "We dominated throughout the match. I'm pleased by the emergence of players who all did what they were asked. We had the initiative. There was anxiety and nervousness, but that is normal. The players responded well to what I asked them and we achieved our target of victory."
He added: "The team is improving game by game and can continue to do so, but we are on track."
Israel, 2-1 losers at home to group leaders Croatia on Friday, are without long-term injury victim Yossi Benayoun for the trip to Athens. Central defender Tal Ben-Haim is banned for the visitors.
While leaders Croatia are not in midweek action, second-placed Georgia travel to Latvia, who hope to have Andrejs Rubins and Alex Cauna available despite minor knocks. Georgia recorded their first competitive win since October 2007 by overcoming Malta 1-0 and coach Temuri Ketsbaia hopes to build on the victory.
"We were awaiting this win for three years and I hope it will help us mentally," the former Newcastle player told uefa.com. Zurab Khizanishvili is suspended for Georgia while Ucha Lobjanidze returns from a ban.