Date: 25th October 2007 at 7:23am
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The start of the UEFA Cup group stages and Aberdeen’s 100th in Europe is finally upon us. The mighty men in red have travelled to Greece to take on top seeds Panathinaikos in our first match of four where no doubt they’ll be Welcomed To Hell and all that junk.

Vital Quotes:

Jimmy Calderwood to Red Web: ‘We’ve had Panathinaikos watched twice and we know they are strong in all departments with two excellent wide players, a very good player up front and a capable back four. If Dnipro had been in this group I think they would qualify so obviously I feel we have a chance. We’ve already made a wee bit of history by reaching the group stages and it would be nice to make some more.’

Darren Mackie: ‘Everyone knows it’s going to be really tough tomorrow but we’re still confident we can do something over there.

‘We’ll be forced to defend but we have strong players at the back.’

Panathinaikos Team News:

Top scorer Dimitrios Papadopoulos and European Championship winner Giorgios Karagounis are two of the home sides top players so it’s good news that they are both doubts alongside 17-year-old wing sensation Sotiris Ninis, who is another injury doubt.

Player to watch: Dimitrios Salpigidis

The Greek international is the most expensive player in Greek Super League history after being signed by Panathinaikos from PAOK for 5 milion Euros and is their current top scorer in the division. Big Zander and the boys better be on their toes.

Aberdeen Team News:

Jimmy will asses the fitness of Scott Severin, Chris Clark, Michael Hart and Andrew Considine ahead of the match but all could figure at some stage.

Player to watch: Jamie Langfield

Big Clangers is one of the main reasons the Dons have qualified for the Group Stages and he’ll need to be in top form if his side are to manage anything from this game.

Match Facts & Stats

No Scottish side has ever won in Greece previously so Aberdeen have the chance to make a little history in their first match against Greek opposition.

Ref Watch:

Referee
Thomas Einwaller (AUT)
Assistant referee
Roland Heim (AUT) Norbert Schwab (AUT)
Fourth official
Bernhard Brugger (AUT)
UEFA Referee observer
Georges Konrath (FRA)

Next Fixtures:

Back to league business against John Hughes’ Falkirk at Pittodrie on Sunday.