PAOK vs Schalke
Competition: Europa League
Date: 16 February 2017
Kick-off: 19:00 CET
Schalke are another club with plenty of history and prestige about them, and they will now be eyeing the knockout stages as their chance to shine after a decent showing in the group stage but rather averages performances in the Bundesliga. When they come up against the Greek side PAOK, they will feel they have a good chance of an upset at home.
PAOK have managed to get through the group stages pretty comfortably in second place, but other than Fiorentina there was not too much to write home about. They are currently third in the Greek league, but the Greek League cannot really compare to the German League in terms of quality of competition, so this will really be a big task for them to take on Schalke, even at home. PAOK did manage to get that winning feeling though for half their group games, as well as a draw, and they won’t feel too overwhelmed when they take on Schalke who have been struggling domestically.
Currently in 11th in the Bundesliga, Schalke are a team that can do better than that, and for them to top their group in the Europa League, that speaks volumes. They were definitely in a tougher group than their Greek opponents, but they won it comfortably, doubling the points of their nearest rivals, and only losing one game. But again, it was their efficiency that won them the group, rather than a burst of goals or miserly defence. Schalke’s name has to be mentioned up there with the favourites, and to be honest they will be looking forward to this challenge to set them up on a run towards the latter stages.
PAOK vs Schalke: Group stage form
Schalke managed 15 points in the end of their group campaign, coming from five wins and just the one draw, a dominant display especially considering the teams below them managed two wins and a draw.
PAOK were second in Group J with three wins and a draw, but even their goal difference was mediocre with seven scored and six let in.
PAOK vs Schalke: Prediction
Schalke are much more of a well known force around European football, and although they may not be at their best domestically, they will be fired up enough to win against the Greek side, even with the travelling being a factor.
PAOK vs Schalke: Tips
Bet on Schalke scoring a few goals here as PAOK’s defence is hardly rock solid.