Large AEK and Atromitos presence in Ethniki squad for May friendly
Ethniki Omada head coach Michael Skibbe named his squad to face Saudi Arabia in an upcoming friendly, springing a few surprises along the way.
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On Tuesday afternoon, the 52-year old German included these following players in his roster for the friendly match against Saudi Arabia:
Goalkeepers: Andreas Gianniotis (Atromitos), Vasilis Barkas (AEK).
Defenders: Michalis Bakakis (AEK), Spyros Risvanis (Atromitos), Vasilis Lampropoulos (AEK), Dimitris Chatziisaias (Atromitos), Dimitris Giannoulis (Atromitos), Triantafyllos Pasalidis (Asteras Tripolis), Dimitris Nikolaou (Olympiacos).
Midfielders: Panagiotis Tachtsidis (Olympiacos), Alexandros Tziolis (Al Fayha), Petros Mantalos (AEK), Konstantinos Fortounis (Olympiacos), Dimitris Pelkas (PAOK), Athansios Androutsos (Olympiacos), Konstantinos Galanopoulos (AEK), Lazaros Christodoulopoulos (AEK).
Forwards: Anastasios Bakasetas (AEK), Dimitris Limnios (PAOK), Michalis Manias (Asteras Tripolis), Efthymis Koulouris (PAOK).
It’s worth noting that only Super League players and Alexandros Tziolis have been called up because other national team candidates are still competing in their respective domestic championships.
In welcome news to jubilant AEK fans, seven players of the newly crowned Greek champions were selected for Skibbe’s squad. After the announcement was made, AEK released this statement on their social networking platforms:
“Champions AEK are celebrating another title! Seven players from our squad were selected by national team head coach Michael Skibbe for the Ethniki Omada’s friendly match against Saudi Arabia which is scheduled for Tuesday, May 15 in Seville!
The new faces are Vasilis Lampropoulos and Kostas Galanopoulos, captain Petros Mantalos makes his return, while Lazaros Christodoulopoulos, Tasos Bakasetas, Michalis Bakakis and Vasilis Barkas received another call-up.
This is the largest amount of AEK players summoned to the national team and it’s a huge reward for our team’s Greek project.”
Alongside the large AEK presence, Super League big hitters Atromitos Athens had an impressive four players rewarded with a berth in the national team squad. In connection with the roster’s publication, Atromitos had this to say:
“Four players of our club have been called up to the national team for a friendly match with Saudi Arabia on Tuesday 15 May 2018 at 20:30.
Andreas Gianniotis, Spyros Risvanis, Dimitris Chatziisaias and Dimitris Giannoulis will join the national team on May 13 to prepare for the friendly game which will take place in Sevilla at the Cartuja Stadium.
We recall that Gianniotis received his debut a few months ago against Egypt, while Risvanis, Chatziisaias and Giannoulis are expected to make their maiden appearances in the upcoming friendly match.
This is an excellent reward for our team’s players after a year which proved their capabilities and helped them achieve their personal goal of representing the national team.”
Dimitris Nikolaou, Triantafyllos Pasalidis, Athanasios Androutsos, Dimitris Limnios and Michalis Manias could also make their Ethniki debuts. The match against Saudi Arabia is scheduled for May 15, 20:30 at the Cartuja Stadium in Seville. On May 13, the players will gather for their first training session together.