AEK FC will look to wrap up top spot at the Sydney Festival of Football today when they meet Scottish champions Rangers FC at the Sydney Football Stadium.
The two sides will feature in the penultimate match of the Festival at 5pm, and barring a loss greater than 4-0 to Rangers, AEK will almost certainly claim top spot.
Sydney FC and Blackburn Rovers will square off at 7.15pm for the third and fourth place of the tournament.
Papa Bouba Diop and Raffik Djebbour will look to get some time for AEK, with the former having come on against Blackburn midway through the second half.
Djebbour did not play in the previous two matches, and has been the subject of much contractual speculation with AEK having tabled a big offer to re-sign the talented Algerian.
One man who took his chance with both hands is AEK’s Australian Nathan Burns. The former Adelaide United starlet had a hand in both of AEK’s goals against Blackburn, tormenting the English Premier League side with his pace until he was substituted near the end of the second half.
AEK meanwhile have lived up to President Stavros Adamidis’ promise to “get up close and personal with AEK fans in Australia”.
He told Neos Kosmos ahead of the tour that players would be made available to fans and the club has certainly gone out of its way to please its supporters.
Three different players each day have appeared at the “Hospitality Centre of AEK FC” at the Four Points by Sheraton hotel on Sussex Street in Darling Harbour.
The specially designed site of the hotel has been giving AEK fans of all ages the opportunity to purchase official products (including new 2010/11 jerseys) and to meet the AEK team.
Players that have appeared this week already include Nikos Georgeas, Ismael Blanco, Leonardo and Raffik Djebbour.
The club has brought an impressive array of merchandise and local fans have roared with approval.
Nick, 33 from Darwin said it was like a dream come true.
“I was a little too young to remember AEK’s 1979 trip, but this is like a dream for me. The players have been very good to the fans and the club has made a great statement for itself. It has been perfect.
“I was very impressed to see all of the products the club brought down here. The prices are very fair too. Its good for the club to make some money and the fans walk away happy too. I’m really impressed with everything”.
Brothers Chris and Lakis, nine and seven years old respectively, said they had met their heroes.
“I got to meet Blanco and Leonardo, and they signed my hat and ball,” said Chris while his brother admired his own signed ball!
The AEK hospitality centre will be open today (Saturday July 31) on Level One of the hotel, and the stadium will also have AEK merchandise available when it opens before the match.