Panionios vs PAOK
Competition: Greek Super League
Date: 24 May 2017
Kick-off: 17:15 CET
Panionios are complaining that it was some refereeing decisions that cost them at least the draw at PAOK on Sunday, especially the second yellow card Iranian attacking midfielder Masoud Shojaei saw in the second half, a few minutes before PAOK scored the only goal of the match. Shojaei is obviously unavailable, and so is center-forward Samed Yesil. The 22-year-old scored on the opening day of the playoffs, it was his goal that gave Panionios an 1-0 win at AEK, but he got injured, he already missed the game at PAOK, and will miss this one as well. He hopes to be back for the match against Panathinaikos, on Sunday. Panionios are two points behind AEK and one below PAOK, but PAOK are expected to be awarded the three points from the game against Panathinaikos, which was abandoned after the coach of the Thessaloniki team got hit on the head by someone who threw him a can of beer. In other words, this is possibly the last chance Panionios have to stay close to PAOK, who, in reality, are four points above them, instead of just one.
As previously mentioned, PAOK are expected to be given three points for the game against Panathinaikos, so, in reality, they are first in the playoffs table, two points above AEK. Beating Panionios in this game, the Thessaloniki team earn a big advantage over AEK, even if the Athens side beat Panathinaikos. A win for PAOK at Panionios, means that on Sunday, when they visit AEK, they will have the… luxury to be ok with just a draw, they won’t necessarily need to win. Attacking midfielder Dimitris Pelkas received a yellow card in the home game against Panionios, he reached the cards limit, already, and is unavailable. Ukrainian central midfielder Evgen Shakhov got a three-match suspension for something he did in the game against Panathinaikos, and this is the second game he’s missing. Spanish center-back Jose Crespo had received a similar suspension, but PAOK’s appeal was accepted, from three matches the ban was reduced to one, he already missed the home game against Panionios, so he can play in this one. Another center-back, Fernando Varela, got injured in the first game of the playoffs, and won’t play again this season.
Panionios vs PAOK: Head-to-head Stats
Two wins for Panionios, two draws, and just one win for PAOK in their last five games with Panionios as hosts.
Panionios vs PAOK: Prediction
PAOK are considered favorites to win, but I have my doubts. Prijovic scored a beautiful goal against Panionios a few days ago, his presence in PAOK’s eleven totally transforms the Thessaloniki side, from a ‘good’ team they turn into a ‘winning’ team, so the fact that he looks in good condition is a major detail. ‘Draw or PAOK’ pays practically nothing, so… I’m leaving my reservations aside, and I’m backing PAOK to win.
Panionios vs PAOK: Tips
PAOK’s win is at 1.83. A PAOK win combined with a clean sheet pays much better, 2.87.