After six league games this season, Panathinaikos FC is placed 2nd in Greece with 13 points and a solid goal score of 9-1. Saturday they play Levadiakos - 2nd from the bottom of the table - away, most likely another three points. Opening the group on the 25th October they beat Aberdeen 3-0 (UEFA.com / Ivanschitz inspires Panathinaikos win).
Panathinaikos FC is ranked #32 at the UEFA Team Ranking 2007. Last season their European campaign came to an end at the hands of... RC Lens who beat them 3-1 (UEFA.com / Lens advance after Athens shut-out). But the club is 99 years old, lost the European Cup final 0-2 to Ajax in 1971 and has a long pedigree of impressive results. Little reason for optimism.
D Salpingidis - D Papadopoulos
A Ivanschitz - S Ninis - E González - G Karagounis
A Seric - J Sarriegi - N Morris - L Vyntra
Central defender Josu Sarriegui Zumárraga is a recent signing from Athletic Club Bilbao (UEFA.com / Panathinaikos strengthen defence), defensive midfielder Marcelo Mattos was bought in Corinthians in July (UEFA.com / Brazilian prodigy joins Panathinaikos) while Karagounis is a veteran returning home (UEFA.com / Karagounis returns to Panathinaikos). Austrian playmaker Andreas Ivanschitz has returned from injury only recently but is fit. Sotiris Ninis is a lad 17 years of age, still a ball boy a year ago (UEFA.com / From ball boy to star, UEFA.com / Ninis comes of age at Panathinaikos).
In Scotland, they are now licking their wounds:
[...] struggled to deal with the pace and trickery of Pana front pair Dame N'Doye and Dimitris Salpigidis [...] the talent of Ivanschitz, who provided the assists from two free-kicks and the killer pass for Dimitris Papadopoulos' goal which sandwiched strikes from Goumas and Dimitris Salpigidis. [...] "I think Dnipro [the team Aberdeen played in the first round] were a better footballing team but Panathinaikos got the goals and that's what mattered.
SEVERIN SEES POSITIVES IN DEFEAT
Dnipro a better team? Set-piece situations? Baaah! Now the Scots count on beating us at home...