CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON - Thursday, March 4, 2010
The Black and Golds head east for a Saturday showdown for control of fifth place with six games left to secure a spot in the Europa League.
Eddie Johnson returns to Greece after registering a quarter-hour with the Nats on Wednesday and will hope to see action. Neither the Fulham man nor Freddy Adu saw action in last weekend's 2-0 thumping of Larissa.
With a full and healthy squad at his disposition, Aris coach Hector Raul Cuper has yet to decide whether the Americans will figure in the lineup for the Saturday afternoon kickoff.
The Martians need a win to catch up to AEK Athens, who are four points ahead with 42, and ensure firm posession of the vital fifth spot coming into the final stretch of the season.
The Blue Argonauts are storming up the rankings riding a four-game winning streak including a two-goal win over titans Panathinaikos.
Last Sunday coach Aad de Mos' men achieved a 3-1 win over Panthrakikos, thanks to early goals from Polish hitman Ebi Smolarek and Nigerian threat Benjamin Onwuatchi, and a capstone goal from Diogo Rincón.
The deciding tally was Onwuatchi's tenth of the season, making him the runner-up for the league's top scorer, which will likely be claimed by the Djibril Cissé goal machine with 20 goals thus far.
Kavala's Dutch skipper will welcome the return of Ivorian Serge Dié, Brazilian back Douglão, and Wilson Oruma from suspensions, and wait to see if Montenegran international Savo Pavićević is fit for action.
In their last confrontation in Thessaloniki, the two clubs settled for a scoreless draw.