London Hearts Supporters Club

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<-Page <-Team Wed 09 Aug 2006 Hearts 1 AEK Athens 2 Team-> Page->
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Valdas Ivanauskas <-auth None auth-> Nicolai Vollquartz
Aguiar Bruno [P Kapetanos 88] ;[N Liberopoulos 93]
28 of 066 Saulius Mikoliunas 61 E H

Hearts look to take a major step towards the UEFA Champions League group stages when they host AEK Athens on Wednesday.

The Jambos take on their Greek opponents in the third qualifying round, first leg at Murrayfield after seeing off Siroki Brijeg from Bosnia-Herzegovina in the previous round.

The Edinburgh club come into the contest buoyed by Sunday's dramatic 2-1 home win over champions Celtic in the Scottish Premier League.

Valdas Ivanaukas's side have made a perfect start to the new SPL season, but reaching the Champions League group phase this season is equally vital to the club's lofty ambitions.

They face an AEK side now under the direction of Spanish tactician Lorenzo Serra Ferrer.

It is a baptism of fire for the former Real Betis manager, as Wednesday's match will be AEK's first competitive contest of the new season after the club finished runners-up behind Greek champions Olympiakos last term.

AEK have made several new signings for the new campaign, with right back Martin Pautasso from Independiente and Benfica's Brazilian forward Gustavo Manduca just two new faces to join the Greek club.

Finnish midfielder Perparim Hetemaj, however, will not be involved on Wednesday evening after being left behind by Ferrer.

Hearts will be without defender Ibrahim Tall after he was sidelined for up to four weeks with a knee ligament injury that he sustained against Celtic.

Striker Edgaras Jankauskas and defender Panagiotis Fyssas are back for the AEK match, but winger Paul Hartley (groin) and defender Jose Goncalves (hip) remain on the sidelines.

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