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Berbatov starts the derby against AEK as titleholder

22 September 2015 / 15:09:07  GRReporter
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Tomorrow at 20.30 hours, at Stadio Toumbas (Thessaloníki), the first big derby of the season between Thessaloniki's PAOK and Athens' AEK will begin. We have every reason to expect that Dimitar Berbatov will start the game as a titleholder since his ergometrics have steadily improved while he is swiftly coming into form, despite not having practised in a club throughout the summer. The Bulgarian football ace was in action for about 30 minutes in each of the games against Veria and Gabala respectively, and coach Igor Tudor believe he can endure 60 minutes in the derby against AEK.


It is not yet clear whether Berbatov will partner with PAOK's top scorer Stefanos Athanasiadis. In both games he played off the bench - against Veria against Gabbana – Berbatov replaced Klaus. The famous "chemistry" between them, which has been bandied about among fans and pundits, has not yet been tested in a real pitch battle. In an interview with PAOK fans on Twitter, Stefanos Athanasiadis was, as expected, asked about his relationship with the Bulgarian.

"With his experience, Berbatov is practically giving advice to each one of us. It is so helpful to play with such a great player. Having said that, one single player, whoever he might be, is not enough in any team. The work of all the players is needed if PAOK's level is to be raised," said the Thessalonians' scorer.


Meanwhile, rival AEK announced their lineup for Wednesday's game. Coach Trayanos Dellas won't rely on one of the key strikers - Algerian Rafik Dzhibur. AEK's last practice in Athens is scheduled for today at noon; once finished, the team will set out for Thessaloniki.

The Greek Football Federation said that the match referee will be Tassos Sidiropoulos. The 36-year-old is one of the best in Greece; he recently refereed the game between Benfica and Astana in the Champions League. Sidiropoulos has refereed three games between PAOK and AEK, including the dramatic 2012 clash at the Olympic Stadium in Athens, when PAOK won 2:0.

Tags: Dimitar Berbatov match PAOK-AEK Igor Tudor Stadio Toumbas Stefanos Athanasiadis
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