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Greece's Patsatzoglou to miss Euro qualifier in Ukraine

© Reuters 2002

ATHENS, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Defender Christos Patsatzoglou will miss Greece's 2004 European championship qualifier away to Ukraine on Saturday, Greek FA officials said on Thursday.

The Olympiakos right back came down with a virus on Wednesday and was ruled out of the 22-man squad that travelled to Ukraine on Thursday.

Patsatzoglou's place in the team is expected to be taken by Panathinaikos' Yourkas Seitaridis. Coach Otto Rehhagel has not called in a replacement for the group six tie.

Speaking before the away trip, the German coach denied Greece's domestic league shutdown had affected his preparations for the match. "The national team players are playing every week in Europe and can maintain their physical condition," said Rehhagel.

Matches in the 16-team Greek premier division were suspended three weeks ago in protest at the government's refusal to compensate clubs for the loss of TV revenues.

Former Bayern Munich coach Rehhagel said he expects a tough match in front of a partisan crowd, adding his team would not be disappointed with a draw.

"If we see during the game that we can't win then we'll at least try to ensure that we don't lose," he said.

Greece lost their opening qualifier 2-0 at home to group favourites Spain and are expected along with Ukraine to compete for second place.

"We want to play good football and show that we can stand the pressure in front of 50-60,000 supporters," Rehhagel added. Armenia and Northern Ireland are the other two teams in the group.

Reports provided by

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