PAOK vs AEK Athens
Competition: Greek Super League
Date: 14 May 2017
Kick-off: 19:30 CET
PAOK beat AEK 2-1 in the Cup final last week to win their first title since 2003, they finished the regular season impressively picking up six consecutive victories conceding just two goals in games that either way they won 3-1 and 5-1, they ridiculed Panathinaikos in the return leg of their Cup semifinal (4-0), and last, but not least, they do start the playoffs with a small advantage over the other three teams, having a two-point bonus (one over Panathinaikos, two over AEK and Panionios). Attacking midfielder Diego Biseswar, who has been excellent lately, missed a couple of training sessions due to feeling weak after dealing with a flu, but on Friday he trained properly, and should be available to play. That’s the only -kind of- problem coach Ivic is facing, since right winger Giannis Mystakidis has already been out for weeks, after his serious injury, so his absence is no news.
AEK are still complaining about PAOK’s second goal in the Cup final, scorer Pedro Henrique was indeed in an offside position (of course, AEK avoid commenting on the fact that seconds earlier there was a clear penalty not given to PAOK, when Crespo was too obviously pulled down by an AEK player in the box), and they see this game as an opportunity not only to start their playoff campaign earning a point or points, but also to… show which is the better team between the two. Center-forward Christos Aravidis struggled to be ready for the final, he barely made it, but he’s missed more training sessions ever since, and most probably he will stay out, a blow for AEK, since he is one of their most… gutsy players, and AEK are going to need lots of that (guts) in Toumba.
PAOK vs AEK Athens: Head-to-head Stats
PAOK have eight straight wins over AEK as hosts, last time the Athens team won in Thessaloniki was in a Cup game, in March 2011.
PAOK vs AEK Athens: Prediction
PAOK have everything on their side, boosted morale, great form, almost 30,000 fans eager to celebrate winning the Cup last week, really, it all screams out loud that PAOK should win this game, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they did so by two goals or more.
PAOK vs AEK Athens: Tips
PAOK’s win pays 1.80, it makes sense, I would love to see it closer to 2.00, but it does feel fair, given that they are playing at home against a team they beat at a neutral venue just a few days ago. In the Cup final, I avoided giving a tip on goals, sticking to a simple PAOK win in regular time, which paid more than 2.00. In this case, feeling that 1.80 is not really-really tempting, I’d be willing to risk a PAOK win in an over 2.5 goals game, which pays 3.10, counting mostly on the hosts to… run wild.