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Last chance for AEK and PSV

Published: Monday 20 October 2003, 21.00CET
Dusan Bajevic said "all will be lost" for AEK Athens FC if they do not beat PSV Eindhoven who also need to win.

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Published: Monday 20 October 2003, 21.00CET

Last chance for AEK and PSV

Dusan Bajevic said "all will be lost" for AEK Athens FC if they do not beat PSV Eindhoven who also need to win.

By Paris Ayiomamitis in Athens

AEK Athens FC coach Dusan Bajevic believes Tuesday's Group C match against PSV Eindhoven represents his team's last chance to get their UEFA Champions League campaign back on track.

'Difficult for us'
"It will be difficult for us if we don't get a result," said Bajevic who knows very well his men can settle for nothing less than three points, if they are to remain within striking range of AS Monaco FC and RC Deportivo La Coruña. "All will be lost if we don't win."

Crucial week
AEK have taken just one point from their opening two matches, while PSV have none. Both teams face important derby matches next weekend - AEK against Olympiacos CFP, PSV against AFC Ajax - which could go some way to determining the shape of their domestic seasons so the assertion by PSV coach Guus Hiddink that this was a crucial week applies to both sides.

Optimistic note
AEK's seven-match unbeaten Champions League run ended unceremoniously three weeks ago with a 4-0 drubbing at group leaders Monaco. After a home defeat by newly promoted Halkidona FC five days later, a dejected Bajevic admitted his team had a "disease which needed a cure". They are fourth in the Alpha Ethniki, six points off the top, but, lifted by Saturday's 2-1 win at Aris Thessaloniki FC, Bajevic sounded a more optimistic note on Monday.

'A lot of quality'
"Our players were more serious and stronger compared to other matches," Bajevic said. "It's not the first time my players have been under this sort of pressure and done well." Still, the Bosnian Serb coach, who is without the out-of-sorts Grigorios Georgatos, knows PSV are no pushovers. "They have a lot of quality in players like [Mateja] Kezman and they are very quick down both flanks," he said.

Previous meeting
The one previous meeting of these sides came in the second round of the 1992/93 Champions League, where PSV progressed to the group stage by following a 1-0 defeat in Athens with a 3-0 home victory. Further progress this time seems a long way off at present for PSV and Hiddink said: "This is our last chance to show what we can do and see if we can progress."

No changes predicted
PSV enter this match on the heels of a 2-0 win over SC Heerenven which keeps them two points behind leaders Ajax. Saturday saw the return of the club's top scorer, Kezman, after the police foiled an apparent kidnap plot. PSV, who are without injured captain Mark van Bommel, should field the same side beaten by Deportivo a fortnight ago.

'Not here to defend'
"We are not here to defend, but to score," Hiddink said. "AEK can play some fantastic football but at the same time they can be very poor, just like us."

Last updated: 21/10/03 13.59CET