-- The Greek Cup Group Stages Set to Begin --
The second round (group stages) of the Greek Cup are set to begin on Tuesday. The 8 groups, that were drawn at the end of September, have interesting matchups with old foes, bitter rivals, teams from the same city, but also clubs owned by the same person face off.
The second round of the Greek Soccer Cup is played in a group stage format with 8 groups of 4 teams each. The 32 teams consist of all 16 teams from the SuperLeague and 16 of the 18 clubs in the Football League. The first round included 4 teams from the Football League with Sparti and OFI eliminating Panegialios and Acharnaikos over two legs. In each group, there are 2 teams from the Superleague and 2 teams from the Football League. Each team within a group will play the other once with the Football League clubs playing two games at home and one match away. The top two sides after 3 games will advance to Round of 16. For the full fixtures and standings of second round of the Greek Cup please visit the AGONAsport Greek Cup home page.
Without a doubt the most anticipated matchup will be Dimitris Giannakopoulos versus Vaggelis Marinakis as Olympiacos and Sparti were paired in Group B along with Platanias and Chania. The owner of Sparti, Dimitris Giannakopoulos, also owns Panathinaikos BC and will see his side paired with his “eternal enemy.” Additionally, Platanias will face their neighbors Chania in an anticipated Cretan battle where both sides share the same stadium for their respective league matches. Last year, Olympiacos was drawn with Chania in the first knockout round where the Erythrolefki easily advanced to the quarterfinals over two legs.
In Group A, PAOK will face three of its former players when they play Larissa, Trikala, and Panelefsiniakos. Aggelos Anastasiadis (manager of Larissa), Georgios Georgiadis (manager of Trikala), and Thanasis Dimopoulos (manager of Panelefsiniakos) all played for PAOK in the past. Additionally, both Anastasiadis and Georgiadis also coached PAOK in previous years.
In Group C, Panathinaikos will face OFI in a rematch of the 2014 Cup semi-finals where the Prasini prevailed over two legs to advance to the final and eventually win the Cup. Iraklis and Apollon Smyrnis will also partake in Group C.
Theodoros Karipidis will see both of his clubs Aris and Veria battle it out in Group E. As of last year, Karipidis was the president of both Veria and Aris, but this season he gave up his presidency at Veria to Kosta Papadopoulos. Asteras Tripolis, who has struggled this season, and newly promoted side from the Gamma Ethniki, Aiginiakos, will battle it out in the group.
As for AEK, the Kitrinomavri were placed in Group F with Kerkyra, Anagennisi Karditsas, and Lamia.
All the groups can be found here..