PAOK vs Olympiakos
Competition: Greece Super League
Date: 25 February 2018
Kick-off: 18:30 CET
To write that this is a “huge” game, is a pitiful understatement. Every PAOK vs Olympiakos is huge, but this season, the Thessaloniki side are leading in the Super League table with eight games left, with better chances than any other season the last 33 years(!) to win the championship title. Last weekend they beat Lamia 2-0 away from home, a very… “professional” win, with two goals early in the second half. PAOK were far superior and there is no doubt they deserved all three points. Incredibly, it was their 15th(!) win in a row, Super League and Cup combined. They have an unbelievable defensive record, eight goals conceded in 22 Super League matches, just two in their last eight. Pelkas, their Greek attacking midfielder who has been phenomenal this season, had to follow a special training program midweek, but he should be present. PAOK have called on their fans again and again to behave themselves, knowing that in the past, they have crossed the line, causing the club all sorts of troubles. Usually it’s against Olympiakos that PAOK fans cross the line, and at this point, it would be… suicidal to create any troubles, that close to the end of the season. Be reminded, PAOK spent months at the start of the season playing without fans at home, punished for things some of their “fans” did in the Cup final last May.
Olympiakos are six points behind leaders PAOK in the table, they have a three-point deduction over their head (they are still hoping to avoid it), but judging by what some of their players have been saying, they still believe they can turn the tables around in the championship, and return to the top. Last weekend they beat Panionios 1-0 at home, a poor but valuable victory, even if they fail to win the championship. Depending on how high they finish, they will start their Europa League qualifiers earlier or later next season (Europa League, if they fail to win the championship, obviously), and the later they start, the better prepared they will look. That 1-0 over Panionios is their only win in their last six matches. In the first round match, they beat PAOK 1-0 in Piraeus. That is PAOK’s one of only two defeats this season, with the other one being at AEK, also 1-0.
Previous five matches:
Lamia vs PAOK 0-2
PAOK vs AEL Larissa 3-0
Atromitos vs PAOK 1-3
PAS Giannina vs PAOK 1-3
Panetolikos vs PAOK 0-1
Olympiakos vs Panionios 1-0
Atromitos vs Olympiakos 2-2
AEK Athens vs Olympiakos 2-1
Olympiakos vs AEK Athens 1-2
Asteras Tripolis vs Olympiakos 1-1
PAOK’s next game is at Panionios, on Wednesday, a Greece Cup semifinal first leg. Olympiakos are hosting Panathinaikos next Sunday (Greece Super League).
PAOK vs Olympiakos: Head to head Stats
Two wins for PAOK, two for Olympiakos, and a draw, in the last five games between these two in Thessaloniki, Super League and Cup combined. Only one of those five matches had more than two goals.
PAOK vs Olympiakos: Prediction
PAOK’s win at 1.65 is just low, no matter if they have 15 wins in a row, and are hosting a very hurt Olympiakos. From any angle I try to see it, I just return to the same “verdict”, 1.65 is just low.
PAOK vs Olympiakos: Betting Tips
“Over 2.5 goals” pays a massive (for “over 2.5”) 2.50, and I like it a lot because Olympiakos are obliged not just to avoid defeat, but to win the game. If they simply draw, they will remain six points behind PAOK, possibly behind AEK as well, if they win their game. To have any real chance of returning to the top, they need to win. PAOK should take advantage of that, and score at least once. Deep down, I expect a 2-1 PAOK win, but I keep “over 2.5 goals” as my only tip.