Ajax vs PAOK
Competition: UEFA Champions League
Date: 13 August 2019
Kick-off: 20:30 CET
That was a weird game last week in Thessaloniki… As predicted here, it had more than two goals, both teams scored, Ajax earned a 2-2 draw, they looked in control during most of the match, but truth is, they needed two idiotic mistakes by PAOK players to score those two goals. Erik ten Hag, their coach, told reporters after the 2-2 in Thessaloniki that Ajax are still in the middle of their preparation for the new season, no matter if these are super crucial games (against PAOK), and the championship in the Netherlands has already started. On Saturday, they destroyed Emmen 5-0 at home. Donny van de Beek scored the opener, in one of his last(?) games for Ajax. He may leave for Real Madrid after the return leg against PAOK, or after the Champions League playoffs (if Ajax don’t fall victims to a surprise and do reach those). On Sunday, right-back Noussair Mazraoui was considered doubtful, dealing with an injury.
PAOK could hardly have conceded more stupid goals than the ones they did last week. Esiti gave away a ridiculously cheap foul, Ziyech took it, Giannoulis put his head in there, beating his own goalkeeper, and that’s how PAOK went 0-1 down. They looked fantastic in the remainder of the first half, they went 2-1 up(!), had another glorious opportunity to score, before Varela acted like an amateur in the 57th minute, gifting Huntelaar Ajax’s second goal. You could say it was bad luck, but… was it really? From a player of his age, quality, not to mention salary, you expect much-much better. The way things went, PAOK had to be left satisfied with that 2-2, because in the last 30 minutes they suffered, and could have lost the game. They are called to perform a football miracle in Amsterdam, beat Ajax, or score twice and… hope for the best.
Previous five matches:
Ajax vs Emmen 5-0
PAOK vs Ajax 2-2
Vitesse vs Ajax 2-2
Ajax vs Sivasspor 1-1
Ajax vs PSV 2-0
PAOK vs Ajax 2-2
Fortuna Sittard vs PAOK 1-5
Anderlecht vs PAOK 1-3
Sint-Truiden vs PAOK 0-4
Universitatea Cluj vs PAOK 0-5
Ajax’s next game is at Venlo, on Saturday (Holland championship). PAOK are playing next week, either in the Champions or in the Europa League playoffs.
Ajax vs PAOK: Head to head Stats
Ajax have hosted PAOK twice the last nine years in Champions League third qualifying round matches, and both games ended 1-1.
Ajax vs PAOK: Prediction
Ajax should win and finish the job they started in Thessaloniki. Also, I expect as many goals as last week.
Ajax vs PAOK: Betting Tips
“Over 3.5 goals” is at 2.38. Combined with “both teams to score” it pays 2.90. Even “over 2.5 goals and both team to score” pays well, 2.05.