Cash-strapped Panathinaikos without Karagounis
PANATHINAIKOS head coach Jesualdo Ferreira fears a summer of change at his club could lead to a Champions League shock against Motherwell tonight after Greece captain Giorgios Karagounis failed to make the trip to Scotland.
Karagounis, who scored the goal against Russia that took his country into the Euro 2012 quarter-finals, has not signed a new contract amid protracted negotiations with the cash-strapped club. The 35-year-old does not look like featuring in the second leg of the third qualifying round in Athens next week either.
At Fir Park last night, Portuguese Ferreira said: “The contract of Karagounis has ceased and he, for the time being, is not a member of the squad. I will only speak about players who are part of my squad.” Another Greece midfielder, Kostas Katsouranis, looks set to start on the bench this evening after returning to training just last week following his exertions in Poland and Ukraine.
Former Rangers defender Jean-Alain Boumsong revealed at the weekend he and his team-mates are waiting on overdue wages and Ferreira says the changes in his squad caused by the cashflow problems make him wary ahead of the Motherwell game.
He said: “I would say Panathinaikos are the favourite due to its history but both clubs are experiencing change and this change can produce surprises.
“Motherwell is a club with a short story in the Champions League but it’s an opportunity for them to make history.”
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