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11/11/2000

Nikos opinion on greek teams in Europe

Nikos opinion on greek teams in Europe
Olympiakos has the most difficult draw as they will have to play against one of the best teams in the Premiere League. Liverpool has both the individuals and the team to win any top club in Europe. They have one of the best goalkeepers in the world and their midfielders have the stamina and the pace to come through any game. They have Owen, Heskey and Fowler in the front line. Heskey will be Olympiakos' main problem as he is in top form lately. They are amongst the top three team in the Premier League at the moment and if Olympiakos manages to disqualify them it will be a huge success for the team and Greek football in general. Olympiakos is very strong in their home but they will have to be very careful in Anfield.

Panathinaikos will be playing against Man U, Sturm Gratz and Valencia. They have to get positive results both against Valencia and Sturm Gratz if they want to qualify. Sturm have a great attacking line, while Valencia is a well-respected Spanish team. Their most difficult game will be in Old Trafford where Man U is expected to be more serious and controlled in their game so as not to make the same mistakes they made in the previous round. Man U is very well known team to the Greeks and they know what they have to face. They are a very fast team and they are the best in the world as far as their direct pass is concerned. Although they have a very good attack they have a few problems lately especially after Stam's absence.

PAOK was a great success against Udinese for the UEFA Cup qualifiers, scoring three great goals and playing 120 minutes of impressive football. The way the team played justifies their win. Although they suffered a big defeat from ARIS Salonika merely a week ago in the local derby, the climate after the loss of the game was calm and it helped bring the team together instead of creating a negative atmosphere. The fans were also very impressive in their support to the team, been the very important 12th player in this very important match.

It is indeed very difficult for PAOK to win Eindhoven in an away match, but if they manage to get a positive result there, then it is almost certain that they will be able to qualify after the home game in Touba. PAOK is very strong in Touba, however Eindhoven remains the favourite to qualify.

AEK Athens has a difficult game against Leverkusen. Although Leverkusen have a new coach and their game seems to have their ups and downs, the fact remains that they are one of the great German teams. AEK already have their work cut out for them and if they want to qualify for the next round they will have to play very well in both games.

I hope that all Greek teams manage to qualify to the next round of their respective tournaments, as this will reinforce the good image of Greek football in the minds of European fans. The first steps were made by the wins of PAOK Salonika against the Italian Udinese and Panathinaikos against Juventus. Good luck to all Greek teams.

 

232 Appearances in England (175 for Newcastle United, 18 for Leicester in the Premier League and 39 for Leicester in the Championship). Total League-Cup-Europe appearances 550. National Team appearances 70. Goals total 40.