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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 16 April 2016
28 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 16 APRIL 2016 SPORT DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM ISSN 1321-1676 9 771321 167062 Let the finals begin Key players Melbourne City’s Aaron Mooy (L) and Perth Glory’s Andy Keogh will do battle this Sunday. PHOTO: JOHAN SCHMIDT PHOTOGRAPHY. Melbourne City and Perth Glory meet in Sunday’s elimination final The A-League finals are upon us, and the league's two most prolific attacks will go head to head in the second elimination final at AAMI Park in Melbourne on Sunday. Melbourne City and Perth Glory will fight it out in a suddendeath encounter just two weeks after Glory defeated City 3-2 in Perth in their round 26 league match. On that occasion, Perth Glory's Diego Castro and Andy Keogh proved irresistible, while defender Shane Lowry and company kept a tight rein on City's prolific attack until late in the game, when City pulled back two goals to give the home team some nervous moments. It was the first of two successive losses for Melbourne City, whose season promised so much just two weeks ago but which now finds itself fighting for finals survival against an opponent which, apart from last week's heavy away loss to Sydney FC, has been the League's most consistent team in the second half of the season. Compounding City's difficulties is the absence of key forward Harry Novillo, suspended for lashing out in last week's fiery loss to Adelaide United. In contrast, the Glory welcomes back into its line-up a rested Diego Castro and pacey forward Chris Harold for the clash against City. Past encounters suggest a high-scoring match, with meetings between both sides producing an average of 4.75 goals per game this season. With Novillo's absence, City's attack will rely more heavily on Bruno Fornaroli and Aaron Mooy. If Glory midfielder Krisztian Vadocz can minimize Mooy's effectiveness as he did in Perth just two weeks ago, then Fornaroli may become isolated. Aaron Hughes comes back into the City squad to bolster his team's defence, which will have the tough job of smothering Glory's sharpshooters. A loss to City could draw a curtain on several careers at Melbourne City including Mooy, who is keen on a move to Europe next season. A loss would also bring into question coach John Van' t Schip's future at the club. It should make for a weekend of tense, exciting finals football. Last night Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory played the first A-League elimination final in Brisbane, the results of which were unavailable at the time of going to print. Final round of fixtures in Greek Super League Focus on play-off positions The final round of fixtures in the Greek Super League takes place tomorrow, with the spotlight on how the teams in positions two to five will finish the season before go- ing into the play-offs. The winner of the play-offs will go into the qualifiers for the lucrative UEFA Champions League. Currently sitting in second is AEK Athens, which has 54 points, two more than thirdplaced Panathinaikos. Panions is fourth with 44 points, while PAOK is fifth with 42 points. This weekend AEK travels to Levadiakos, hoping to extend its lead over Panathinaikos, which plays at home against already relegated Panthrakikos. Panionios, which is certain of qualifying for the playoffs but may not be eligible to play in Europe because of financial regulations, plays its last game of the season at home against Atromitos. Meanwhile, PAOK needs at least a draw when it travels to Crete to take on Platanias. The race is also on for who will finish sixth, because that too may lead to a chance of European football, if Panionios doesn’t get the green light to play in Europe. Giannina currently leads that race; it plays Xanthi away this weekend. Iraklis plays Panetolikos, Asteras Tripolis faces Veria and the champion Olympiakos plays the final game of the season at home against bottom of the table Kalloni.
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