Bajevic hoping to reverse Dutch trend

EINDHOVEN – Counting three heavy losses here in the past, AEK’s coach Dusan Bajevic does not have fond memories of Phillips Standion, where his side meets Dutch club PSV Eindhoven in a Champions League Group C game tonight. Last in the group, with one point from three games, two points behind PSV, AEK needs a constructive result to keep its waning hopes of a berth in the competition’s next round alive. Bajevic will have to do without four key defenders, Michalis Kapsis, Kofi Amponsah, Vassilis Borbokis and Michel Kreek – all injured. Also sidelined are midfielder Grigoris Georgatos and Christos Maladenis, who are ill. These absences severely restrict Bajevic’s alternatives from the bench, which, however, regains midfielder Vassilis Lakis, back after injury for his first game of the season. Both AEK and PSV need a victory to keep in touch with Group C’s front runner Deportivo, with seven points, and second-placed Monaco with six. First and second places guarantee qualification to the next phase, while third place leads to the less lucrative UEFA Cup’s third round. Besides serving its European interests, a win for AEK tonight would also improve dampened spirits, lowered by mediocre domestic form. Last weekend, however, the Athens club moved to fifth place from seventh in the Greek league with an important 3-1 win over PAOK.