AEK Athens vs PAOK
Competition: Greek Super League
Date: 28 May 2017
Kick-off: 19:30 CET
AEK were great in the first half on the first day of the playoffs at PAOK, but… it’s as if at halftime someone pushed an invisible button leaving Jimenez’s players without ‘heart’, as he keeps telling for days now. “Panathinaikos played with heart, we didn’t”, he said on Wednesday, after AEK’s 1-0 loss at Panathinaikos, a result that pretty much erased all their hopes to finish first, and hope for a miracle to play Champions League (group stage) football next season. Jimenez has been very critical of his players these last days, and from talking about his plans for next season’s AEK, he has reached the point of implying that he won’t be continuing there, leaving no doubt that he is seriously disappointed at how his players have been acting after that first half in the game against PAOK.
From paradise, to hell, and back to paradise. Earlier in May, PAOK won the Cup, their first trophy in 14 years. They started the playoffs with two points, more than the other three participants, but on the first day they threw their advantage to the dustbin, losing to AEK in Thessaloniki. At Panathinaikos, they were again losing, until someone (he was actually identified and has already been brought to court) threw Vladan Ivic, PAOK’s coach, a can of beer. The game was abandoned, PAOK haven’t been awarded with the three points yet, but they will, and not only that, but they picked up back-to-back wins over Panionios, meaning that they are super close to finishing top. Talking about his team’s below average performances in the playoffs, even in the two wins over Panionios, Ivic said that at this stage the team are interested in picking up points, not playing great football. Fantastic news for PAOK just before this game at AEK was that they were informed they will play with fans in their last game against Panathinaikos in Thessaloniki. They could have gotten punished for the crowd trouble in the Cup final, same with AEK, the other finalists, but no decision has been made yet, so PAOK will play their last game in a full Toumba stadium.
AEK Athens vs PAOK: Head-to-head Stats
PAOK have earned three goalless draws at AEK the last five times they visited them, but have failed to win.
AEK Athens vs PAOK: Prediction
PAOK have not been playing good football in the playoffs, but AEK have been much worse. The visitors have a much better psychology going into this game, that’s for sure, and they have the extra motive to beat AEK after their home defeat on the first day of the playoffs. On Wednesday I backed PAOK to beat Panionios and keep a clean sheet, they won 1-0, and paid that 2.87. This time, everything considered, I’m backing PAOK not to lose, but not necessarily to win.
AEK Athens vs PAOK: Tips
‘Draw or PAOK’ pays 1.61. I’m hesitating to predict a PAOK win, not only because they have a rather poor record when visiting AEK, but also because a simple draw would practically seal their top spot in the playoffs. Deep down I do expect a draw, in a game that will have a maximum of two goals. This pays 3.60.