One through, three fighting, one gone

All five Greek soccer teams competing in the UEFA Cup’s group stage play their final games tonight and tomorrow with one through to the next stage, the Round of 32, three fighting and one gone. Panathinaikos, currently leading Group B with a perfect record after three rounds of play, is hosted by Atletico Madrid, two points behind, in a battle tomorrow that will determine top spot. Both sides have already secured their berths for the next stage, but top spot would avoid a draw against Champions League teams joining the competition. In two games involving Greek clubs tonight, Panionios, third in Group H, hosts front-runner Bordeaux needing victory. The French club is already through. The top three advance. Thessaloniki club Aris, also playing tonight, is greeted by Bayern Munich in a Group F game where defeat could spell disaster for both. The pair share second place with five points apiece, one point behind leader Bolton, and two ahead of Braga. Bolton has completed its four-game campaign. Tomorrow, AEK hosts front-runner Villarreal in a Group C game knowing that a win will get it thought to the Round of 32. Larissa, eliminated, hosts Nuremberg in Group A. The German club needs a win to carry on.