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Defiant AEK 'will play for away goal'


AEK ATHENS will come and try to kill off Hearts' European hopes at Murrayfield tonight by grabbing a crucial away goal, according to respected Greek football journalist Stamatis Voulgaris.

Voulgaris, who writes for the Greek sports newspaper GOAL News, does not believe that AEK will come to Scotland to defend, but rather will be looking to put the Jambos on the back foot as they bid to reach the lucrative group stages of the Champions League.

"I think AEK will come to Scotland to attack," said Voulgaris.

"Their manager Lorenzo Serra Ferrer has an attacking philosophy and, although he's changed AEK from 4-3-3 last year to 4-4-2 this season, he likes his team to play attacking football.

"AEK went to Austria for their pre-season and when they were there they learned the style of football their new manager likes to play and they are playing very well."

And while Voulgaris is confident that Steven Pressley and Christophe Berra will be in for a busy evening he's also sure that Hearts will find it difficult at the other end of the park as well.

"AEK have a very good goalkeeper Sorentino while this year their defender Traianos Dellas, who had knee injury problems last year, is back fit again and in the starting XI.

"He helps to organise the team from the back with his experience and Emerson is the man who connects the defence to the midfield."

For his part, AEK captain Dellas revealed that his side are determined not to allow Hearts to stop them from progressing to the group stages of the Champions League.

The Greek outfit will take to the Murrayfield pitch as favourites and the defender is confident he and his team-mates have the qualities to succeed, although he warned that they will have to be at their best.

"I'm conscious Hearts are a good team but no-one can take away our dream of getting through this qualifying round," he said. "We've been working with this dream for some time and now we want to realise it.

"We know more or less the characteristics and principles of Hearts' play. They play a pretty direct game, but they're also capable of playing football.

"We are here to achieve victory, though."

Taken from the Scotsman

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