VILLA TARGET GREECE STRIKER ATHANASIADIS

One of the lowest scoring sides in the Sky Bet Championship last term Aston Villa are seeking to boost their chances upfront with the acquisition of Greece striker Stefanos Athanasiadis, according to reports. The player is a shock target for the English side but Steve Bruce wants a top striker on the continent to help with their goalscoring woes.

Villa finished in the 13th spot last term but they remain hopeful for a playoff spot this time. The target has been impressive in Greek football, netting game after game for PAOK. The player is expected to join big money signings Jonathan Kodija and Scott Hogan as the team try to overhaul their poor results of last season.

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RANIERI REQUIRES ‘SPECIAL DISPENSATION’TO JOIN NANTES

Claudio Ranieri is the man Ligue 1 club, Nantes is looking up to, and is expected to take the reins of the club and lead them through to the next season.Ranieri, who was Leicester City former manager, is set to become the new manager for Nantes but due to his age, he requires a special dispensation.


During the 2015-16 season, Ranieri was the coach who led underdog team, Leicester to lift the Premier League Cup. However, following a poor run of form in the next season, he was sacked

Ranieri now has recently agreed to a two year contract with Nantes but since he is over 65 years of age, a special dispensation is required from France’s Professional Football League before he can take charge of the team.

Nantes Chairman, Waldermar Kita however believes that the French Football Federation is blocking the file.

“The league agrees, I believe that only the French Football Federation (FFF) with Mr. Domenech is blocking the file a little, I do not know why. What we are interested in is the experience as a footballer and coach, since we know very well that he has coached the biggest teams in Europe,” Kita said.

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GREECE Gives BELGIUM TOUGH TIME

Disappointed Belgium went with a point after Michael Skibbe men surprised them with an unexpected 1-0 lead in their 2018 World Cup Qualifier match.


The first half of the match went goalless draw as the visitors were very tough at the back more.

An early second half goal from Mitroglou put Greece ahead of their host and brought more confidence into their pattern. The goal came out of nothing.Tachtsidis wanted a high ball more than Chadli and headed it forward in the general direction of the penalty area. Mitroglou reacted quicker than Ciman, running in behind him to sweep an emphatic curling half-volley across Thibaut Courtois and into the far corner.

Alderweireld of Belgium, in the 51st minute made an awesome through pass to Chadli on the right of the box.Stafylidis stumbles into him from behind but Chadli stayed firm without falling and ultimately won a corner. Had he gone down, Belgium might have been awarded a penalty.

Keeper Kapino’s amazing performance stopped Lukaku’s 59th minute close range shot, which was eventually an offside. The scoreline seemed ridiculous to The Reds and more pressure was on them.

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LAMIA TO PLAY PANSERRAIKOS IN GFL

In Greece Football League, an exciting duel is set to happen when Lamia face Panserraikos on April 22nd 2017.


The match would be a close one as both sides would be hoping to the results. Both sides met earlier on February 16 when Panserraikos hosted. The visitors got a 3-0 victory in the keenly contested game.

  1. Jokic opened scoring in the first 25 minutes then L. Matsoukas doubled the scoreline after the break. A. Karagiannis scored in the 78th minute to complete the rout.

This time, Lamiaremain heavy favourites having won their last four matches. They defeated A. Asteras away by a single goal after they had humbled their guests Panegialios FC by the same margin. They had secured victories against Kallithea and Chania after playing a barren draw with Panelefsiniakos.

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PANATHINAIKOS COULD EXIT GREEK CUP

OFI defeated Panathinaikos, leaving them on the verge of exit from the Cup.


The midweek games had some other upsets like second division side Anagennisi Karditsas holding AEK to a draw, unlike what many expected.

Panathinaikos are on the brink of crashing out of the tournament after Olympiakos defeated Hania 4-0. The Greee giants had goals from Esteban Cambiasso, Brown Ideye and Felipe Pardo. Pantelis Theologou scored an own goal to complete the 4-0 rout.

Panathinaikos manager Andrea Stramaccioni left his role due to the poor result. Iraklis defeated Apollon Smyrnis 3-0 on Wednesday. This implies that Panathinaikos would exit the Cup in the group stage if Iraklis play a draw with OFI in the last round of games.

AEK also did not have a great game as they played a 2-2 draw at Anagennisi. Also, PAOK were forced to a draw by Trikala. The visitors could not score any goal as the game ended goalless.

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Antonis Nikopolidis doesn’t need an introduction

Antonis Nikopolidis doesn’t need an introduction among those who have followed soccer in the last decade or so because he was instrumental in one of the greatest upsets in the history of the game that Greece had created in 2004 by sealing the Euro Championships.


His brilliant work between the sticks throughout the tournament and in the final in particular was the reason why Greece could manage the unthinkable and it’s obviously something for which the 46-year old has got a lot of respect in his country and in the entire soccer universe ever since.

But, what Nikopolidis is doing these days will probably earn him more respect, more as a human being than as a player because he is trying to spread happiness. He is giving the refugees who have come to his country from the dangerous parts of Asia (dangerous with regard to the fact that those areas are troubled by civil wars) some joy.

The thing is that those refugees have submitted their applications to EU to place them somewhere in Europe, but, a lot of time is being taken by the union to work on those applications and to decide which European country it wants to send the refugees to and in the meantime, they are stuck in Greece only where they have nothing to do at all.

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