AEK hopes to break tradition

AEK takes on French club Lille away tonight in the Athens club’s third group stage match of the Champions League with just one point from two games to its record. The Greek club, which has yet to register a single victory in the top-level European club-level competition, following 20 attempts, opened its campaign this year with a loss at Milan and then managed a 1-1 home draw against Anderlecht. Yet Group H remains open for all with just three points separating top from bottom. To make any impact, both tonight and in the group’s standings, AEK will need to break a long-running unfavorable tradition established by the Greek club on French turf. The visiting Athens team has failed to score on its last five games in France, with four of these visits resulting in defeat. Yesterday, AEK’s Spanish coach Lorenzo Serra Ferrer called on his players to not fall into the trap of respecting its French opponent. «Respect? No thanks, I won’t have any of that,» the Spaniard told reporters. «We showed too much respect for Milan and that shouldn’t happen again. We’re going to need to have a different mentality for this game,» Ferrer added. The AEK coach will have to do without first-choice midfielders Emerson and Vladimir Ivic, both of whom are injured.