Aris and Atromitos aiming for qualification
AGONAsport looks ahead to the return legs of both the AEL - Aris and Atromitos - FC DAC 1904 Dunajska Streda ties in the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round.
It’s crunch time for Aris. After their miserable years of financial hardship, Aris are back in the big time, but they have to be at their best if they are to keep their dream of making the Europa League group phase alive. On July 25, the Thessaloniki giants struggled against the watertight AE Limassol defence at the Kleanthis Vikelidis Stadium, squandering a number of promising opportunities in the process. Giannis Fetfatzidis and Javier Matilla smacked the woodwork for Aris, and in the closing stages, AEL almost snatched a potentially vital away goal when Gevorg Ghazaryan’s long-range effort grazed the crossbar.
It must be noted that AEL will host this match at the AEK Arena in Larnaca instead of their Tsirion Stadium in Limassol.
A win for either club will take the respective team through. If the match ends in a score draw (e.g., 1:1, 2:2), Aris will advance on the away goals rule, while extra time will be required if the 90 minutes in Larnaca finish goalless. Molde await the winners in the third qualifying round.
The last time when AEL were involved in the group stage of a major European competition was in the 2012/2013 Europa League. Aris’ most recent Europa League group campaign was back in the 2010/2011 season.
TEAM NEWS: AEL
In his press-conference, AEL boss Dusan Kerkez revealed that Dossa Junior will miss the match through injury, and his loss does give the Limassol outfit a defensive problem. Armenian midfielder Ghazaryan, who joined AEL this summer, looked sharp in Thessaloniki and could start this match. The versatile Jon Gaztanaga is likely to replace Junior in defence.
Possible line-up: Vozinha, Wheeler, Godal, Gaztanaga, A. Teixeira, N. Teixeira, Zdravkovski, Adamovic, Ghazaryan, Jurado, Aganovic.
TEAM NEWS: ARIS
In disappointing news for Aris manager Savvas Pantelidis, Hamza Younes and Manolis Tzanakakis haven’t recovered in time to compete in the game, but he does have a full strength squad asides from those two players with Daniel Larsson ready to start. Nigerian striker Brown Ideye will hope to have his shooting boots on in Larnaca.
Possible line-up: Cuesta, Korhut, Rose, Velez, Sundgren, Matilla, Basha, Fetfatzidis, Larsson, Diguiny, Ideye.
Referee: Jorge Sousa (POR)
Assistant referees: Alvaro Mesquita (POR), Nuno Miguel Silva Manso (POR)
Fourth official: Claudio Felipe Ruivo Pereira (POR)
ATROMITOS NEEDING TO FINISH THE JOB
On paper, it should be a reasonably simple job for Atromitos against FC DAC 1904 Dunajská Streda.
Last week, Atromitos took a huge step towards the third qualifying round of the Europa League, defeating their Slovakian opponents 2:1 on the road. Following Javier Umbides’ stunning opener, Kristopher Vida did get FC DAC back on level terms with an impressive strike, but Giorgos Manousos subsequently turned home from inside the penalty area to put Atromitos firmly in the box seat.
Boasting two away goals, Atromitos can even afford to lose 0:1 at the Peristeri Stadium and still progress, with FC DAC needing at least two markers of their own to stand a chance of qualifying. A 2:1 victory for the Slovakians in Greece would take the tie to extra time.
The winners will play either Legia Warsaw or KuPS Kuopio in the third qualifying round.
At the weekend, FC DAC Dunajska Streda earned a morale-boosting victory in the Fortuna Liga, easily beating Pohronie 5:1 at home with K. Vida (two goals), Zsolt Kalmar, Taiwo Abdulrahman and Eric Ramirez scoring. FC DAC currently occupy second place of the table with six points from their opening two league games.
TEAM NEWS: ATROMITOS
To his relief, Giannis Anastasiou doesn’t have any injuries to think about, and he will surely choose the same starting 11 again. Former Greek international striker Apostolos Vellios would love to finally get back scoring goals again.
Possible line-up: Megyeri, Kivrakidis, Risvanis, Goutas, Katranis, Madson, Charisis, Umbides, N’Sikulu, Manousos, Vellios.
TEAM NEWS: FC DAC 1904 DUNAJSKA STREDA
Taking into account their need for goals, it will be interesting to see how the Slovakian organisation set themselves up in Peristeri, and their coaching staff have already revealed that they will compete in an aggressive manner with plenty of pressing. There are no injury problems for FC DAC.
Possible line-up: Jedlicka, Kostrna, Oravec, Kruzliak, Davis, Connor, M. Vida, Kalmar, K. Vida, Cmelik, Abdulrahman.
Referee: Mohammed Al-Hakim (SWE)
Assistant referees: Mehmet Culum (SWE), Fredrik Klyver (SWE)
Fourth official: Victor Wolf (SWE)