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Van Gaal and Donis meet again

Published: Sunday 25 November 2007, 21.45CET
AZ Alkmaar and Larissa FC may never have met before but coaches Louis van Gaal and Georgios Donis have, and the former will be hoping to continue a proud record.

Tournament statistics

AZLarissa

Goals scored6
 
7
Attempts on target23
 
26
Attempts off target15
 
11
Corners19
 
13
Offsides7
 
6
Fouls committed63
 
52
Yellow cards12
 
15
Red cards1
 
1

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SSI Err
 
Published: Sunday 25 November 2007, 21.45CET

Van Gaal and Donis meet again

AZ Alkmaar and Larissa FC may never have met before but coaches Louis van Gaal and Georgios Donis have, and the former will be hoping to continue a proud record.

AZ Alkmaar coach Louis van Gaal will look to thwart his Larissa FC counterpart Georgios Donis again as the two sides meet for the first time in Group A.

• AZ coach Van Gaal has been involved in four games against Greek opposition as a coach, winning three and losing one. That lone defeat came at home against Panathinakos FC in the first leg of the 1995/96 UEFA Champions League semi-final, with his AFC Ajax side winning the return 3-0.

• Larissa coach Donis was on the losing side in both legs of that tie during his days as a defender with Panathinaikos. Those games represent his only previous meetings with Dutch opposition.

• Van Gaal is still in plaster after breaking his leg at a reunion of his old sporting academy in Amsterdam on Friday 2 November. He incurred the injury during an ill-starred pole vault demonstration.

• The coach has been supervising training sessions with the help of a buggy loaned to him by a local golf course. He said: "I know how it works as when I play golf I always use a buggy because I suffer from an arthritic hip. I think my players will be very happy to see me back on the pitch so fast."

• AZ did not have a game on Matchday 2 after drawing their opener 1-1 at FC Zenit St. Petersburg.

• Larissa are still seeking their first points in Group A. Having lost their opener 3-1 at Everton FC, they were beaten 3-2 by Zenit on Matchday 2 - their first ever home defeat in UEFA club competition.

• AZ and Larissa have never before met in UEFA club competition.

• AZ met Larissa's Super League rivals PAOK FC in the first round of the 2004/05 UEFA Cup, winning 3-2 in Greece and 2-1 at home to reach the group stage.

• Larissa have never come up against Dutch opposition before.

• Larissa's Alexandros Vergonis celebrates his 22nd birthday on 1 December, two days after the AZ game, while Christos Kalantzis turns 25 on the same day.

• Ari will miss the rest of the group stage following his dismissal on Matchday 1.

Last updated: 27/11/07 15.27CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2008/matches/round=15119/match=301638/prematch/background/index.html#van+gaal+donis+meet+again

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