New Mainz coach Kasper Hjulmand is wary of the threat posed by the Greeks, who finished fifth in their domestic top flight last term, but the Dane is confident of establishing a commanding advantage ahead of the second leg next week.
Hjulmand daring to dream
“We respect them, but we have the quality to beat them,” said the 42-year-old former FC Nordsjælland boss, who is looking to become the first ever coach to guide die Nullfünfer into the Europa League group stage. “If you don’t dream, you don’t achieve anything.”
Apart from Croatian forward Petar Sliskovic, who is sidelined with a knee injury, Hjulmand has a full squad of players to choose from for the clash at the Coface Arena, with Joo-Ho Park, Ja-Cheol Koo and Shinji Okazaki all likely to start.
Mainz: Karius – Brosinski, Jara, Noveski, Park – Geis, Baumgartlinger – Soto, Koo, Malli – Okazaki
Asteras: Bantis – Panteliadis, Goian, Sankare, Zisopoulos – Kourbelis, Munafo – Kitoko, Usero, De Blasis - Badibanga