PAOK vs Panathinaikos
Competition: Greece Super League
Date: 29 October 2018
Kick-off: 20:30 CET
That was… quite a slap on the face… On Thursday, PAOK hosted MOL Vidi, everyone at Toumba took it for granted that they would celebrate yet another victory, but… 0-2(!!). After the match, Razvan Lucescu, PAOK’s Romanian coach, told reporters he was the main responsible, he failed to “read” the game correctly before it started, he failed to prepare the team mentally, appropriately, for MOL Vidi. In the Super League, PAOK are leading, on 19 points from seven matches. Actually, they have earned all 21, but started the season carrying a -2 from last year, that’s why they are on “only” 19 points. They are one of the super few teams in Europe to still maintain a perfect record in their championship, late October. Last weekend they beat city rivals Aris 1-2, coming from behind, after conceding first, less than two minutes into the game. Lucescu expects his team to react, after such a shocking defeat at home on Thursday.
Fanis Tzandaris is a former PAOK player, who currently plays for Panathinaikos. A couple of days before flying to Thessaloniki for this game, he told reporters (when asked about PAOK’s strength and impressive record in the Super League, seven wins in as many games), that “it’s not like PAOK are Barcelona…” True, obviously, but media in Thessaloniki made sure to “play” that Tzandaris line, and PAOK’s players picked it up, as if they needed an even bigger motive to bounce back, after their unexpected defeat to MOL Vidi. Bottom line, Tzandaris would have offered his team a good service not saying what he said, no matter if he’s obviously right. Panathinaikos are 5th in the table, on 13 points from seven matches. They have six wins and a draw. Nothing’s wrong with your/my math, they are on “just” 13 points, not 19, because they started the season carrying a -6 from last year.
Previous five matches:
PAOK vs MOL Vidi 0-2
Aris vs PAOK 1-2
PAOK vs Apollon Smyrnis 2-0
BATE vs PAOK 1-4
Olympiakos Piraeus vs PAOK 0-1
Panathinaikos vs Panionios 1-0
Asteras Tripolis vs Panathinaikos 1-1
Panetolikos vs Panathinaikos 0-1
Panathinaikos vs PAS Giannina 2-1
Panathinaikos vs Levadiakos 3-0
PAOK’s next game is at Atromitos, next weekend. Panathinaikos will be hosting AEK (both Super League matches).
PAOK vs Panathinaikos: Head to head Stats
Three wins for PAOK, one for Panathinaikos, and a draw, in the last five games between these two in Thessaloniki.
PAOK vs Panathinaikos: Prediction
Panathinaikos may be undefeated in the Super League, but in this particular match, I’ll be left very surprised if they manage to avoid defeat. Especially after losing on Thursday, I expect PAOK to play with… “a knife between their teeth”, as they say in Greece, when someone starts something determined to succeed, “no matter what”.
PAOK vs Panathinaikos: Betting Tips
A simple PAOK win pays 1.44. Despite their… blackout on Thursday, they tend to score, and score a lot. Plus, Panathinaikos have scored in all their games this season. “PAOK and over 2.5 goals” is my riskier tip, at 2.35.