UEFA Youth League Preview: Bohemians U19 -v- PAOK

Wed, Oct 02 2019

Craig Sexton will be without Andy Lyons as he is overage for under-19 football Credit: Martin Doherty (ETPhotos)

BOHEMIANS

Bohemians will look to go one better than last year as they welcome Greek champions PAOK to Dalymount Park on Wednesday night (kick-off 7.30pm, admission free).

Craig Sexton’s side were narrowly defeated by Danish powerhouse Midtjylland at the same stage last season.

Midtjylland went on to beat Roma and Manchester United before bowing out to eventual champions Porto in the quarter-finals.

This season’s opponents will offer just as stern a test, having knocked out AEL Limassol and Dinamo Minsk before losing to Tottenham Hotspur in the play-offs.

Admission is free for the game and the club hope the incentive will get a big crowd out to cheer the Phibsboro side on to take a positive result to Thessaloniki in three weeks.

"We are going in with a positive mindset that we want to win the game,” Sexton told the club’s official website.

“We're not going in to contain them or to see how the game goes - we want to win it.

"We want to bring a positive result to Greece, so that means we can't just sit back and see how things happen. We are at home so the onus is on us to win."

Sexton, who took the reins shortly before the Midtjylland game last year, feels his charges are much better prepared this year despite the likes of Andy Lyons being overage.

"Preparations have been great this time around. They've been a lot better than last year,” he said.

"That's not a negative towards how we prepared last year but they've run a lot smoother in terms of player availability.

“We are without three of our older guys - Marlon Marishta, Peter Adigun and Mikey O'Keane - but we found out a lot earlier who we'd have, so we've had a lot more time to prepare."

Sexton added: "We've done our homework. We've watched them. They've seven players who played for Greece against the Ireland U17s in the European Championships in Dublin over the summer too.

"That's an indication of the level of player. That finished 1-1, Greece scored late on. They are a strong outfit.

"They played the likes of Spurs. They've played top quality opposition in this tournament already so that could be a challenge.

“ They're more used to this, perhaps more comfortable with it than some of our boys but that's fine.

"But they are coming to Dalymount - they won't be used to that! We need to take advantage of that."

Marlon Marishta, Peter Adigun and Mikey O'Keane will miss out for Bohs.

PAOK

Greek champions PAOK kick off their UEFA Youth League campaign with a trip to the home of Irish football, hoping for a positive result to take back home in three weeks.

PAOK warmed up for the game with a 1-0 win away to rivals AEK Athens in the national youth league, thanks to a goal from Dimitrios Panidis.

It was PAOK’s first win in three games, having been held by both Atromitos and Aris in their previous two encounters.

The Greek side reached the play-off rounds of last year’s competition, where they were edged out by a single goal at home to Tottenham Hotspur.

Much of that side have now moved on, however, with PAOK’s policy of promoting youth seeing a number of players go out on loan.

Konstantinos Balogiannis, Lefteris Lyratzis, Apostolos Diamantis and Marios Tsaousis have all joined Volos on loan, while Giorgos Tzovaras has joined Slovan Bratislava.

In their place has come an influx of players from the under-17s, including seven of the side that drew 1-1 with Ireland in Tallaght in the opening European Championships game.

Referee: N/A. 

 

MATCH STATS

Both Bohemians and PAOK contested the champions route of the UEFA Youth League last year as their senior men’s teams failed to qualify for the group stages.

Bohs came up against Midtjylland of Denmark and bowed out 4-2 on aggregate after trailing 2-1 from the first leg in Herning.

PAOK beat AEL Limassol of Greece and Belarus’s Dinamo Minsk before losing to England’s Tottenham Hotspur in the play-off round.

BETTING

N/A

PREDICTION

Bohemians 1 - 2 PAOK

 

Bohemians

Injured: None.

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: None.

Unavailable: Marlon Marishta, Peter Adigun, Mikey O'Keane.

 

PAOK

Injured: None.

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: None.