Warzycha to break club record

Panathinaikos striker Krzysztof Warzycha is set to break the club’s European appearance record after making the squad to face Real Mallorca in the Champions League tonight. The 37-year-old Polish forward is expected to play his first European game this season in the Group C match after the Athens club secured their place in the next phase with a 2-0 win over Schalke 04 last week. Warzycha will be partnered up front by Croatian forward Goran Vlaovic as coach Yiannis Kyrastas makes sweeping changes to the team that beat Schalke. We are not going to Spain on holiday, Kyrastas said after qualifying for the second phase with a game to spare. We will rest some of our players and give opportunities to others. When you bring in players like (Yiannis) Goumas, (Nikos) Lyberopoulos and (Derek) Boateng, you can’t say we’re fielding a weakened lineup. We want the win to help Greece’s UEFA standing and improve on our own club record, he said. According to sources, the club is offering its players bonus money of 6 million drachmas as a further incentive for victory, or half this amount should Panathinaikos draw. Warzycha will make his 56th appearance in all European competitions, surpassing the club record set by defender Stratos Apostolakis, now a member of the coaching staff. The appearance record will add to the Polish striker’s collection, which includes all the club’s goal-scoring records in a career spanning 12 years at Panathinaikos. He has averaged approximately a goal every two games in some 480 appearances. Panathinaikos are guaranteed top spot in the group with Arsenal in second place as they have a better head-to-head record against the Londoners, who begin the last round of matches three points behind the Greek team. The Spaniards will be in search of at least a draw, a result that that would guarantee the side third place in the group and the right to continue in the less prestigious UEFA Cup competition.

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