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PAOK primed for Udinese decider

Published: Friday 17 February 2012, 3.00CET
PAOK FC will look for a repeat of their 2000/01 success against Udinese Calcio after a 0-0 draw in Italy edged them closer to a round of 16 meeting with AZ Alkmaar or RSC Anderlecht.
PAOK primed for Udinese decider
Antonio Floro Flores (right) tries to lift the ball over PAOK goalkeeper Dario Krešić ©Getty Images
Published: Friday 17 February 2012, 3.00CET

PAOK primed for Udinese decider

PAOK FC will look for a repeat of their 2000/01 success against Udinese Calcio after a 0-0 draw in Italy edged them closer to a round of 16 meeting with AZ Alkmaar or RSC Anderlecht.

PAOK FC are within sight of a UEFA Europa League round of 16 meeting with AZ Alkmaar or RSC Anderlecht after drawing 0-0 at Udinese Calcio in the first leg of their last-32 tie.

• Having eliminated Udinese once before, PAOK held firm at the Stadio Friuli, though Almen Abdi hit a post for the home side early on in a game where the injury-enforced absence of top scorer Antonio Di Natale may have been a factor.

Previous meetings
• Dušan Bajević's PAOK came out on top in the sides's only previous meetings, in the 2000/01 UEFA Cup second round; Luigi De Canio's Udinese won the first leg 1-0, but PAOK levelled the tie in the second leg and went on to add two more goals without reply in extra time.

• All four goals were scored by substitutes: Massimo Margiotta in the first leg, Patricio Camps (2) and Nikolaos Froussos in the second.

• The teams for the return fixture at the Toumbas Stadium on 9 November 2000 were:
PAOK: Tochoroglou, Borbokis, Venetidis, Bratić (Camps 65), Konstantinidis, Nalitzis (Jafes 119), Okkas (Froussos 74), Chasiotis, Udeze, Koulakiotis, Tetradze.
Udinese: Turci, Bertotto, Sottil, Sosa, Fiore, Pinzi, Giannichedda (Margiotta 71), Jørgensen, Zamboni, Alberto (Helguera 77), Díaz (Esposito 104).

• Giampiero Pinzi, who is still with Udinese 11 years on, played in both legs as did Pantelis Konstantinidis, now PAOK's sporting director.

Match background
• PAOK's record in nine games against Italian sides is W1 D3 L5 (W1 D2 L1 at home). That 2000 Udinese success was their sole win against teams from Serie A.

• PAOK are unbeaten in 12 European fixtures, including five at home − three wins and two draws.

• Udinese's record in seven games against Greek sides is W4 D1 L2 (W1 D0 L2 in Greece). They have lost both of their previous two-legged ties against Hellenic opponents, to PAOK in 2000/01 and Panionios GSS in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup.

• This is Udinese's third tilt at the round of 32; they beat RC Lens in 2005/06 and KKS Lech Poznań in 2008/09.

• PAOK reached the round of 32 for the first time since the advent of the UEFA Cup group stage last season, bowing out with a 1-0 home defeat and 1-1 draw at PFC CSKA Moskva.

Team facts
• PAOK are the brightest starters in the competition with five of their 10 goals since the start of the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League group stage coming in the opening 15 minutes.

• Udinese have scored six goals since the start of the UEFA Europa League group stage, averaging just under a goal a game.

• PAOK's Etto took on Udinese in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage, his GNK Dinamo Zagreb side losing 2-1 in Italy.

• Udinese's Dušan Basta took on Kostas Chalkias, Vladimir Ivić and Sakis Papazoglou when FK Crvena zvezda visited PAOK's city rivals Aris Thessaloniki FC in the 2007/8 UEFA Cup group stage; Papazoglou came off the bench to score twice in a 3-0 Aris win.

• PAOK's former president Theodoros Zagorakis (Bologna FC, 2004/05) and current president and CEO Zisis Vryzas (AC Perugia 2000-03, ACF Fiorentina 2004-05, Torino FC 2006) both played in Italy, as did Pablo García (Milan 2001, AC Venezia 2002).

• PAOK's Italian defender Bruno Cirillo counts Reggina Calcio, FC Internazionale Milano, US Lecce and AC Siena among his former clubs.

• Udinese defender Medhi Benatia and PAOK midfielder Bertrand Robert were team-mates at FC Lorient in 2007/08 though they never played in a competitive game together, Benatia missing much of the season with a serious knee injury.

• Capped 108 times by Romania as a midfielder, PAOK coach László Bölöni has been involved with three other clubs in this season's round of 32; he won domestic titles as a player with FC Steaua Bucureşti (1984-87) and as a coach at Sporting Clube de Portugal (2001-03) and R. Standard de Liège (2008-10).

• Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin spent the bulk of his playing days with Hellas-Verona FC. His coaching career included a stint in France at AS Monaco FC in 2005/06. Since then he has been in charge of US Città di Palermo and Parma FC, taking over for a second spell at Udinese in 2010. He successfully guided Monaco through the 2005/06 UEFA Cup group stage but missed out with Palermo the following season.

• Bölöni replaced Guidolin as Monaco coach in 2006 but lasted barely three months in the job.

Round of 16
• The winners of this tie will take either AZ Alkmaar or RSC Anderlecht in the round of 16 on 8 and 15 March, playing the second leg at home.

• Udinese have met neither of their potential opponents in UEFA competition.

• PAOK have never come across Anderlecht, but took on AZ in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup first round, losing 3-2 in Salonika and 2-1 in Alkmaar.

Competition statistics
• An updated version of the UEFA Europa League Statistics Handbook is available here:

Last updated: 20/02/12 12.31CET