Greece - Romania Betting Preview: Hosts can take a sizeable sizeable step towards Brazil

Fernando Santos's side are favourites to reach next summer's tournament and our tipster expects them to claim a vital first-leg victory over the visitors on Friday
The road to World Cup 2014 resumes when Greece play host to Romania in a play-off round first leg tie in Athens on Friday night.

The 2004 European champions were seeded in the play-off draw and, consequently, are 4/6 (1.67) favourites with William Hill to reach next summer's tournament.

Fernando Santos's side can be backed at an appealing 4/5 (1.80) with William Hill to take a huge stride towards World Cup qualification by beating Romania on home soil.

Victor Piturca's men have not qualified for a major tournament since falling at the first hurdle at Euro 2008 and can be backed at 11/10 (2.10) with William Hill to buck that trend by reaching Brazil over the course of the two legs.

A win in Athens would go a long way to seeing Romania take their place in next summer's finals and they are chalked up as a 100/30 (4.33) shot with William Hill to win on Friday. The same firm go 11/5 (3.20) that the first-leg tie ends in stalemate.

The task facing Romania, though, certainly appears to be formidable. Santos's side have kept a clean sheet in no fewer than 11 of their last 12 matches – a 3-1 defeat against Bosnia-Herzegovina providing the exception.

It is, therefore, unsurprising that the odds compilers are anticipating another low-scoring encounter here and William Hill go just 2/5 (1.40) that the match features fewer than three goals.

It is worth noting, though, that Greece have scored more than once on just three occasions in their last 12 outings and there may be value in the 6/4 (2.50) quote from William Hill for fewer than two goals to be netted here.

Each of Greece's last six matches has seen them men win to nil and, indeed, they have kept a clean sheet in each of their last nine victories.

Therefore, the juicy 9/5 (2.80) quote from William Hill for Greece to win to nil on Friday represents outstanding value for punters while those seeking to back bigger prices should take a chance on the 9/2 (5.50) quote from the same firm for Santos's side to take a 1-0 lead into the return leg in Romania.

Greece to win to nil at 9/5 (2.80) with William Hill

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Willie Duncan is a freelance sports journalist. Willie, from Edinburgh, has covered Scottish football for over 10 years and he specialises in football betting markets from across Europe. You can also follow Willie on Twitter

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