NEWS

Pop king’s Panionios to play Spanish giants

All three Greek soccer clubs playing in the UEFA Cup this season barged through the competition’s first round, but at least one is in deep trouble following yesterday’s second-round draw. Panionios, never a domestic powerhouse, will meet Spanish celebrity club Barcelona. Aris and PAOK face Italy’s Perugia and Hungary’s Debreceni, respectively. Greek glitz-pop king Lefteris Pantazis’s Panionios and Barcelona – which crushed Slovakia’s Puchov 8-0 in its last UEFA Cup game – drawn to play their first-leg match in Spain, arranged to switch the order of matches. Perugia, at home for the first leg, may be wary of facing Aris, which eliminated the Italian club in the 1979/80 season. The Italians, UEFA Cup debutantes back then, made their competition comeback this year. PAOK will open against Debreceni in Thessaloniki. All first-leg games are on November 6, with the repeat matches on November 27.