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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 01 December 2018
28 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 1 DECEMBER 2018 SPORT Rd Six action kicks off in Gosford GEORGE STOGIANNOU Last weekend's A League Rd 5 left just Perth Glory as the only undefeated team in the league following Victory's win over a previously undefeated Sydney FC.Glory forward Chris Ikonomidis continues to impress following a brace last week against the Mariners taking him to four goals for the season and earning him a November/ October, young NAB player of the year award nomination. Today's Rd 6 action kicks off in Gosford. Central Coast Mariners v Sydney FC (Saturday 1 December, 5.35 pm, Central Coast Stadium) Both teams are coming off losses last week, but it's hard to see the bottom-placed Mariners ending a three-game losing stress against the third placed Sky Blues team looking to bounce back from its first defeat of the season last week against Victory. Mariner's striker, Matt Simon, comes up against his former club. Mariners also welcome back the skilful Tim Hiarie and Peter Kekeris, whilst Sydney's Daniel De Silva will be unavailable, against his parent club Mariners, due to a loan agreement between both sides. Melbourne Victory v Western Sydney Wanderers (Saturday 1 December, 7.50 pm, Marvel Stadium) Victory enters this match as warm favourites to complete a double against Sydney opposition in consecutive weeks, with the Wanderers having failed to win this feature in its last eight meetings. Victory's visa players Keisuke Honda and Ole Toivonen both scored in last week's win over the Sky Blues, its third in a row, enabling it to leap frog Sydney FC into second spot. The Wanderers could consider themselves a tad unlucky to lose to the Jets last week, but could find this match a bridge too far. Wellington Phoenix v Perth Glory (Sunday 2 December, 5.00 pm, Westpac Stadium) Phoenix hosts high flying Glory with Mark Rudan's team hoping to arrest a three match losing streak. Whilst Wellington has struggled to score goals, with just one goal in its last four matches, Glory leads the goal scoring charts with Andy Keogh and Chris Ikonomidis both heading the league scoring charts. Keogh is set to play his 100th league match whilst coach Tony Popovic further strengthens his squad with the return of Santalab, Spiranovic and Chris Harold. Melbourne City v Newcastle Jets (Sun 2nd December, 7.00 pm, AAMI Park) City was toothless in attack last week without the presence of Bruno Fornaroli, who is again absent from coach Warren Joyce's announced match day squad. The Jets on the other hand scored a much needed win and will be keen to back that up with another. Former Jet Riley Mc Gree, faces his old club for the first time. With the creative midfielder Ronald Vargas once more pulling the strings in AEK dressing room under pressure after recent results After a string of negative results and the announcement of the departure of three key players, Marinos Ouzounidis has his work cut out for him as Xanthi come to the Olympic Stadium The recent loss against Ajax and disqualification from European competitions just came to add salt to the wounds of AEK Athens. Marinos Ouzounidis had very little to say to his men ahead of the game versus Xanthi, as the champions will try to pick up their pieces and look for a much-needed win that will help them both mentally and on the board. AEK are currently placed seventh, with even their visitors being better positioned than them (sixth), yet there aren't many reasons to be optimistic that things will improve in the near future for the team. During the press confer- ence for the game against the Dutch champions mid-week, the Greek manager made public the club's decision not to extend the contracts of three very important players (Lambropoulos, Simoes and Bakasetas), further limiting the already tight roster of the team. Ouzounidis will not have much time to find solutions and there isn't much word of any help coming in during the winter transfer window either, as the club is already under extreme financial pressure raising funds for the new stadium in Nea Philadelphia. Elsewhere, PAOK will hope to continue their unbeaten Andre Simoes is one of three that will no longer be wearing the AEK jersey. PHOTO: APE/MPE run as they travel to Lamia to face the local club. El Kaddouri, Mauricio and Varela are all doubtful for this game, however captain Vieirinha has made himself available to his manager Razvan Lucescu. Olympiacos will hope to build on the big win they got last week on Atromitos as they prepare to host Panetolikos, however as the visitors proved against AEK, they are prepared to punish anyone who takes them lightly. It seems that Yaya Toure's advent in Piraeus was meant to be short since he has stopped being included in manager Pedro Martins' plans, even though he is fully fit. There are already whispers being heard from England regarding a potential interest from West Ham. The game of the week will be held at the Kleanthis Vikelidis Stadium, where a renewed Aris hosts Panathinaikos. The youthful team of the Greens have been one of the pleasant surprises of the season, demonstrating some enjoyable quick football action under the guidance of manager Giorgos Donis, however they will need to show some strong mentality if they are to escape the adverse atmosphere that the Aris supporters are expected to create. Atromitos will look to get back on their feet against last-placed Apollon Smyrnis. SUPER LEAGUE DAY 12 SCHEDULE Saturday 1 December AEL - Panionios Apollon Smyrnis - Atromitos PAS Giannena - OFI Sunday 2 December Levadiakos - Asteras Tripolis Aris - Panathinaikos AEK - Xanthi Monday 3 December Lamia - PAOK DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM ISSN 1321-1676 9 771321 167062 Perth Glory’s Andy Keogh (L) and Chris Ikonomidis head the goal scoring charts. PHOTO: A-LEAGUE.COM attack for the Jets, Newcastle will be looking to upset a lack lustre City. The Jets will also be buoyed by the return from illness of Johnny Koutroumbis. Real Betis’ Marc Bartra (L) in action against Olympiacos’ Kostas Fortounis (L) during their UEFA Europa League group F soccer match at the Benito Villamarin stadium in Seville. PHOTO: EPA/RAUL CARO CADENAS PAOK and Olympiacos still hopeful, despite losses The fifth round of games in the Europa League group stage saw Olympiacos and PAOK losing on Thursday, but both teams hope to still go through, if results go their way in the last round of matches next month. Olympiakos lost 1-0 to a much superior Real Betis. The Pireaus team started off strong in Seville over the first half, however Betis got the better of the Greek defense at the other end, earning a penalty that Sergio Leon took; Olympiacos keeper Jose Sa parried to safety, before the Spaniards grabbed a goal through a Sergio Canales shot from outside the area on the 39th minute. In the second half, Olympiacos was significantly inferior to its host and could have conceded more goals. Now the Red-and-Whites still need to beat AC Milan by 2-0 or 4-1 in Piraeus in two weeks' time to advance to the knock- out stages of the competition. As for PAOK, they played almost the entire game at Stamford Bridge with a man's deficit, and predictably suffered a 4-0 defeat to Chelsea. Yevhen Khacheridi was presented with a red card at the 7th minute of the match, reducing PAOK to defensive efforts only, unable to prevent Olivier Giroud from grabbing a first-half brace. In the second half, Chelsea scored two more goals with Callum Hudson-Odoi and Alvaro Morata, to compound the Greek league leader's misery. Even so, PAOK will go through if on December 13 it beats BATE in Thessaloniki and Chelsea downs Vidi in Budapest. The fifth round of Europa League also saw two Cyprus teams winning; Apollon Limassol beat Lazio 2-0 and AEL Larnaca won 2-1 over Zurich.
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