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paokarag4 last won the day on May 8

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  1. Silly move if it was to eventuate. We were never winning the title this season. We wanted a run in Europe and we got the best one in our history (in terms of matches won) We are into another Cup final, regardless of the result Lucescu needs to stay and be allowed to build a team he wants. I will say any other manager has the poor run we've had of late, they probably would not have survived but that doesn't mean it would've been the correct move (or the poor run in November) Nothing has been lost big picture wise and even if we finish end up sliding and finishing 3rd or 4th there is no real difference, except maybe a qualifying round and starting a fortnight later.
  2. Yeah it's a great opportunity for Poyet to get an extended amount of time by international football standards at least, with the squad. 4 matches in 10 days will shape our hopes of topping the group and locking in a playoff birth for Euro 2024. Starting XI as always has some holes, especially in midfield and to a lesser extent in attack. I'll base mine on players who have had regular game time even if they aren't my personal favourites. ------------------Vlachodimos------ Lyratzis-----Mavropanos---Chatzidiakos-----Tsimikas -----Bouchalakis*------Siopis-------Mantalos/Bakasetas** Masouras---------Giakoumakis-----------Limnios * for Bouchalakis because ideally he wouldn't start but we are so limited in central midfield I don't see a way he won't. Alexandropoulos is an option but I don't think coaches have full faith in him just yet, as is evidenced by him not being a nailed on starter for PAO. **Mantalos/Bakasetas are the only viable options I see for an attacking mid. I know Fortounis is a favourite on this forum but he unfortunately hasn't come on since returning from long-term injury and is battling niggling injuries. It'll have to be one of those 2 considering Pelkas is also injured and I'm not sure what type of shape he'll be in come NT time. Other discussion worthy positions is our attacking 3. I've gone Giakoumakis over Pavlidis but the choice really depends on what your prefer in your striker. Giakoumakis is more a scorer and plays like a traditional big man. He's a constant threat in the box and takes up good scoring positions. While Pavlidis is much more of a modern striker, will come deep to receive the ball and link up. Much better technically with the ball at his feet. And while he's not a bad scorer and has a good season stats wise, he's not as lethal in scoring positions. Tzolis is far more talented than Limnios, but he has hardly played this season so that relegates him to a role off the bench. Limnios has been a starter in a top 5 team in Holland this season, so despite not being his biggest fan and acknowledging he is limited in an attacking sense he will be one of the wingers. @PaokCT you asked and I delivered, this should keep you busy for half an hour or so😉
  3. If true that isn't good. We are struggling massively particularly at center back where the Varela-Mihaj combo is slow just not up to the level as a partnership. Ingason's inclusion makes us automatically a 30% better defensive team IMO. Same with our wingers, with no Biseswar, Jaba our options are limited. Murg is what he is, he's nothing special and apart from set pieces doesn't do anything particularly well. Mitrita has moments and flashes of brilliance but is too inconsistent and that inconsistency lends itself to him being more effective off the bench. Anyway these are the cards we have been dealt so we have to keep rolling with it. We have to flesh out a gritty win here because to go winless against Aris all season is not a world I want to live in.
  4. The form dip is concerning, seems the team hasn't been able to bounce back mentally since being knocked out by Marseille. A win against Aris would be perfect to secure a top 3 finish and allow us to fully shift our focus to the cup final, but until we win these playoffs remain a pesky chore that we just can't get done. In saying that based on our current form you can't say with any confidence that we will win any of final 3 playoff matches. I'd expect the guys who were rested to return midweek, Ingason, Zivkovic, Lyratzis and probably Akpom. Hopefully we find a way to win and returning to winning ways because I'd hate for us to be winless in over 10 games heading into the final.
  5. Bakasetas and Siopis are Champions of Turkey with Trabzonspor, securing the club's first league title in 38 years with a draw on the weekend. Congratulations to both of the lads! https://www.instagram.com/p/CdEQH38LaJd/
  6. You would expect a few of the guys who played 120 against Olympiakos would be rested in this one. So I'd say Crespo, Kurtic will 100% be rested. Ingason and Sidcley will probably have to play due to lack of options (I heard Mihaj is injured but haven't read anything official from the club?) Same with Zivkovic, our wing options are really limited with all the recent injuries. So not sure there is any way Andrija doesn't start, unless we go with Murg/Taylor on the wings.
  7. Glad Jaba is back in the squad, hopefully he doesn't blow his 2nd (3rd?) chance because we need him to see out this season. With the away goals rule applying it will be important to keep a clean sheet. A 1-0 or heck even a 2-0 win would be amazing. But a 0-0 isn't the end of the world either.
  8. Really? Do you have a source, can't find any French or English media reporting it. I doubt that there would be any team punishment, for Payet himself there would be a suspension of some kind.
  9. Kurtic has another season on loan before his contract expires with Parma, at which point he'll be a free agent and we can keep him if we choose to. The 'loan' was only a loan for tax reasons for Parma I believe. We essentially signed him to a 2 year contract. He will be 34 at the end of next season, so whether we want to keep him at that age is a different story.
  10. We deserved to win that match no doubt, created more than enough really good chances. An early goal changes the complexion of the whole tie, take your pick Tsingaras, Akpom or Crespo in the first 15. Their goal comes from a mistake, Crespo ran himself into a bit of dead end he was surrounded by Marseille players pressing but perhaps he could have been a little safer rather than trying to be cute in that moment. Regardless it's harsh to blame him for the result, mistakes will happen against 'better' higher quality teams. It all comes down to missed chances and we missed plenty. The boys, the team, the fans and the city should be proud. We came out and really took it to them, we didn't take a backwards step and deserved at least an extra 30 mins to qualify. Toumba giving a standing ovation to the team was special, the atmosphere throughout was special. I hope the team really bottles that energy and it drives them the rest of the season. They deserve the applause they got. It was a great European run and one the club had been craving for a long time. On another day we are celebrating a semi-final birth. It feels a bit empty currently, the league and even the cup semi don't seem super important at the moment. Hopefully the lads don't feel the same and are able to bounce back, especially for the Cup in a weeks time.
  11. 2 assists and a man of the match performance from him in the 2nd leg of the Champions league quarter final tie with Benfica. Match ended 3-3 and Liverpool qualify 6-4 on aggregate. Big improvement this season, he's played 21 games this time around with still 10 or so to play. Last year he only managed 7 total appearances. He is still no.2 behind Robertson, but it's obvious Klopp now trusts him and the fans love him too. Every time he plays he does well, it's all he can do. He just has one of the world's best in front of him. Will be interesting to see what he does this upcoming summer. It is clear he could be starting at 12 or so other Premier League clubs, but he seems quite connected with Liverpool the club and city. I think he'll stay as a back-up for another season before contemplating a potential move.
  12. I'm just hope our fans don't do anything stupid, like throwing things at the Marseille players or storming the field post-game regardless of the result. UEFA has already warned this season and they will be on high alert given what happened in the 1st leg. Would be such a shame if we come up with a historic win and we have to play a European semi in front of no fans. As for the playing aspect, I get the feeling we are going to need to score twice to get this to extra time. Keeping a clean-sheet against this Marseille team would be seriously impressive, I think they will find a way to score. So we'll need to be on offensively and bang in a couple. Agree with what Blackhawk said, I want to see us come out and press, really try shake them up and grab an early goal in the first 15-20.
  13. I personally don't mind the move, he has shown this season he can be important with his experience, overall football IQ and his quality is still there. Let alone his leadership, I am happy for him to stay. Off the bench and starting in certain matches he will be a useful cog. He's already a legend of the club, but imagine if he could captain us to another league title next year. His legend will grow bigger.
  14. Despite our poor 1st half I feel the Marseille goals could have been avoided if not for individual mistakes, which makes it even more frustrating. The first goal we have Crespo not quick enough in getting up and in line with the rest of our defenders and therefore playing Gerson onside. On that goal Ingason was also probably too close to Crespo which created the massive gap which Marseille was able to pick through to score (Vieirinha may have also share some blame here) The 2nd goal as has been pointed out, Paschalakis turning it over but following that Ingason angrily puts it out for a corner when he had enough time to either clear it up-field on his left boot or readjust slightly and concede a throw in. Rather than lazily booting it for a corner because he was frustrated with Paschalakis previous error. All that considered a much improved showing in the 2nd half. We looked dangerous going forward and despite creating only 2 'clear' chances we got into plenty of dangerous areas and caused them problems. Marseille had chances of their own, it's going to happen they are a good team, it will happen in the 2nd leg too. All we can do is be solid defensively and give nothing cheap away, which unfortunately happened today and we payed the price. Never the less all to play for in a weeks time, and with no game in between it gives plenty of time for rest, recovery and Lucescu to prepare the squad.
  15. Have fun file @Athens4 and stay safe! Very jealous of you, scream the lads onto a positive result
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