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UEFA Europa League

  • February 16, 2012
  • • 20:05
  • • Stadio Communale Friuli, Udine
  • Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco
  • • Attendance: 11641
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Udinese - PAOK Preview: The Bianconeri can put one foot into the Europa League Round of 16 with victory over the Greeks

Udinese - PAOK Preview: The Bianconeri can put one foot into the Europa League Round of 16 with victory over the Greeks

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Francesco Guidolin's side host the visitors on Thursday evening, and are desperate to return to form following consecutive domestic defeats


PROBABLE LINE-UPS


UDINESE


Handanovic
Benatia, Danilo, Domizzi
Basta, Pinzi, Pazienza, Fernandes, Armero
Torje
Floro Flores


PAOK


Kresic
Etto, Katsikas, Malezas, Lino
Salpigidis, Lazar, Garcia, Robert
Fotakis
Athanasiadis

Udinese were dealt a major blow in the 2-1 Serie A defeat to AC Milan at the weekend when key duo Mauricio Isla and Antonio Di Natale were ruled out with serious injuries.

Isla's knee ligament problem, sustained after a clash with Massimo Ambrosini, is likely to rule the Chilean out of action for the rest of the season. However, the loss of goal-getter Di Natale is most damaging, the veteran suffering a fractured toe, and his period of recovery is as yet undetermined.

The hosts are set to welcome back Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu and Kwadwo Asamoah after the duo returned from the African Cup Of Nations, although Badu is carrying a knock and is unlikely to feature, while Asamoah may find a spot on the bench.

PAOK have a full squad available going into Thursday's clash, with Panagiotis Glikos returning to the side after sitting out of the recent defeat to OSFP with a minor knock.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • Udinese have won two of their three home games in the Europa league this season.
  • The hosts only managed to win two of their six group stage games, yet still qualified for the knockout stages.
  • PAOK have won three of their last four games in the Europa League.
  • The visitors have only kept one clean sheet in the competition so far, with the Greeks earning a 0-0 draw with Tottenham Hotspur back in September.
  • On average the away side have conceded a goal a game in the competition.

Players to watch

A. Floro Flores

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
With Di Natale absent, the responsibility for goals will likely fall to Floro Flores, and it is a massive burden to undertake. The Greek visitors did well in qualifying, and it will be up to the forward to ensure his side take a lead into the second leg.

S. Athanasiadis

Position: Attacker

Games: 8

  • 7
  • 1
  • 0
The Greece international has been in fine form for the visitors this season and is currently the club's leading goalscorer with 13 goals. After netting three goals in the competition already, he will be hoping to add to his tally against the Bianconeri.

Editor's Prediction

The Bianconeri are desperate to return to from after suffering two straight defeats, and along with having the home advantage, a victory for the hosts seems the likely outcome.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Udinese

PAOK

Wins
2
1
1
Wins

Betting & Predictions

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