SPORTS

Panathinaikos to seek rebound tonight

Panathinaikos’s new coach Zdenek Scasny has told his players to forget a humiliating weekend draw with Aegaleo and focus on tonight’s Champions League clash against Arsenal. The draw means the defending champion now shares its league lead with crosstown AEK, on 10 points. Halkidona and archrival Olympiakos are just a point behind. «The match with Aegaleo is over. Let’s concentrate on Arsenal,» Scasny told players in an effort to boost morale. The Czech, who replaced Israeli coach Itzhak Shum this month, faces major problems for tonight’s lineup, especially up front. Top scorer Dimitris Papadopoulos is still nursing a leg injury and is unlikely to play. Polish striker Maciez Bykowski is also out of action. Fellow-Pole Emmanuel Olisadebe returned from a long absence because of a knee injury. He came on for 20 minutes in Saturday’s 0-0 game against Aegaleo but is not expected to be among the starters. Scasny will entrust the team’s attack to Cypriot striker Michalis Constantinou and Swedish forward Nyren Demba. In midfield, Raimondas Zutautas, Srdan Andric and Lucian Sanmartean are all out with injuries, as is defender Markus Munch. The only good news for the Greeks is the return of playmaker Angelos Basinas, who has recovered from a back injury. «We know Arsenal is a serious team and it’s the favorite to win the group,» South African defender Nasief Morris said. «But we’re not afraid and I’m convinced we can get a good result on our ground.» Arsenal, leading Group E with four points, one ahead of Panathinaikos, is likely to miss Patrick Vieira after the midfielder twisted an ankle during the 3-1 win against Aston Villa at Highbury on Saturday. With a clash against Manchester United Sunday, manager Arsene Wenger does not appear ready to risk his participation against Panathinaikos. «I will not take a risk on him at all because it’s always very bad, but you know, it’s a big game for us Wednesday night as well because the team wants to win the Champions League. But I will not take a chance,» Wenger said. The French coach will also be without defender Gilberto Silva. The 17-year-old Cesc Fabregas, after a strong performance Saturday against Villa, could partner Edu in central midfield. (AP)