Rivals prepare to clash again

Though the dust has yet to settle following Sunday’s 1-1 draw in a league game between arch soccer rivals Olympiakos and Panathinaikos, the pair are already busy preparing for a repeat clash tomorrow, also at Olympiakos’s Karaiskaki Stadium, this time in the Greek Cup’s fifth round for a place in the quarterfinals. Portuguese international striker Helder Postiga, whose transfer to Panathinaikos from Porto on a six-month loan deal was announced by the Athens club yesterday, could play in tomorrow’s cup clash. The visiting Panathinaikos squad departed Karaiskaki Stadium Sunday night unsatisfied by the 1-1 draw, which left the Athens team in third place, two points behind leaders AEK and a point behind second-placed Olympiakos. German Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt hopes Postiga’s arrival at Panathinaikos could increase its prospects of acquiring young Greek striker Vangelis Mantzios. The German team’s coach Friedhelm Funkel attended Sunday’s game between Olympiakos and Panathinaikos but Mantzios was not fielded. In the Olympiakos camp, Argentinean international Fernando Belluschi, who moved to the Piraeus team from River Plate last week in a four-and-a-half year deal reportedly worth 6.5 million euros, will not be ready for tomorrow’s encounter, the club has announced. Midfielder Ieroklis Stoltidis, who missed the weekend clash because of injury, is hoping to be fit tomorrow. Also struggling for fitness is Argentine midfielder Cristian Ledesma. «We need to watch the game many times. Certain things about our defensive play need to be changed,» said Olympiakos coach Takis Lemonis. The Piraeus club is believed to be close to terminating its contract with defender Raul Bravo, who moved to Olympiakos from Real Madrid last summer but has played only a few games because of injury.