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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 15, 2006

Samaras ready for double dose of Terry

Greece striker Georgios Samaras is relishing his two-game battle with new England skipper John Terry this week.

The Manchester City striker is likely to line up against Terry for the first time in his career at Old Trafford tonight as Greece take on England.

And then he faces a second instalment against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Despite this friendly coming just three days before the start of the Premiership season, Samaras insists he is only thinking about doing well for his country.

The 21-year-old said: 'It's a good challenge against one of the best defenders. We'll fight like warriors when we play football but it's just a game.

'When you play for your national team, you focus on the national team and when I'm with Manchester City I focus on them. They are two separate things and you have to get a balance.

'On Thursday, I'll go back to the Manchester City training ground and focus on Sunday.'

While the Steve McClaren era starts against Otto Rehhagel's side, the Greek national side are at a similar crossroads.

Having been crowned European champions two years ago, they failed to qualify for the World Cup this summer and start a tricky qualifying campaign to defend their title next month in a group that contains traditional rivals Turkey, as well as Norway and Hungary.

Samaras added: 'It's a big moment for us. We have quality and good players, there are a lot of players playing outside Greece with good clubs.

'We're not going to say we've got an easy group, we'll just look at it game by game and get as many points as we can.'

For now though, the striker is focused on England: 'It's a good game for both sides to see how we are for the start of qualification. It's a good test for both sides.

'England have a new manager and some new players so it will be a good match.'

As well as being his first taste of a battle against Terry, tonight will also see the City man make his first appearance at Old Trafford.

But he is adamant that because he is playing for his national team, the venue holds no real significance.

He continued: 'It won't make it special, not now. When I play here with Manchester City it will be special but now it's no more special. You don't have the same pressure as when it's a derby.

'I don't have to prove anything in this game. If I play, I'll just enjoy it and do as well as I can.'

The Greeks are expected to line up with a flexible 4-3-3 formation, which will also include Bolton winger Stelios Giannakopoulos, while ex Leicester man Theo Zagorakis is in the squad.

First-choice right-back Yourkas Seitaridis did not link up with the squad, having picked up an ankle injury in friendly action for his club side Atletico Madrid.

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