PAOK vs AEK Prediction, Preview, Lineups, H2H & Football Betting Tips 14.05.2017
Only a week after both sides have met at the 2016–17 Greek Football Cup final, PAOK and AEK are set for first game from the Superleague play-offs. Besides both clubs who play on Sunday night, Panathinaikos and Panionios are other two teams with hopes to earn the second Champions League spot given by the Greek Superleague.
Unsurprisingly, the league trophy went to Piraeus for another year and Olympiakos already imagines next season, while the aforementioned four teams must decide who will scoop an alternative Champions League position and who will have to be pleased with the Europa League perspectives.
H2H History: PAOK vs AEK
This time we have a duel between PAOK and AEK that won’t take place on a neutral venue like it was last Saturday, when PAOK won 2-1 at the “Panthessaliko Stadium” in Volos. Thus PAOK won its first trophy after 14 years of waiting (2002–03), when “The Black and Whites” were once more the Greek Cup winners.
Losing the final in Volos is surely an additional reason why AEK is even more determined to squeeze out something from an upcoming travel to Thessaloniki. A serious boost of AEK’s morale is that they travel on North with a great result from previous league match between both sides – 3:0 on 12 March. However, “The Yellow-Blacks” from Athens are heading to Thessaloniki where they have not won a game against PAOK since 16 March 2011. That was a narrow (0-1) success in the Greek Cup, which has been followed by eight consecutive home wins when PAOK takes on AEK.
Superleague: PAOK vs AEK 14.05.2017
PAOK already secured its place for the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round by winning the Greek Cup, but may still qualify for third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League. Apparently that’s the major goal for all teams in the playoff round and PAOK has a slight advantage to start with two points, as a result of club’s Superleague positioning.
And if PAOK was second with 61 points (on 6 below Olympiakos), AEK finished fourth with 53. This means “The Yellow-Blacks” won’t earn any extra source of points influenced by their regular season ranking.
Match Preview: Team News, Squads and Missing Players
PAOK starts the Champions League race in front of the enthusiastic home crowd and with a trophy. Indeed, this is the first game for both sides after the Greek Cup final and PAOK will be keen to repeat its last weekend’s achievement.
Vladimir Ivic won’t be able to call on forward Giannis Mystakidis who suffered a long-term injury and is expected to recover not earlier than October. Ukrainian midfielder Yevhen Shakhov will serve a suspension and also miss out, but all others wearing the “black-white” stripe are ready for duty.
We believe Vladimir Ivic won’t make any massive rotations compared to the squad used last weekend and one of the likely changes is related with name of Dimitris Pelkas, who should replace suspended Shakhov. Another potential replacement may be up front where Angolan winger Djalma Campos is not on required level in last rounds, but Brazilian Pedro Henrique is ready to deputise. Latter scored the winning goal last week, some minutes after Henrique replaced exactly Djalma in 73rd minute. Otherwise no other replacements are anticipated.
AEK’s boss Manolo Jimenez will seek a revenge but we can’t also expect huge rotations in the away side. They don’t have that wide bench as PAOK and that might be biggest issue for AEK on their path towards a Champions League breakthrough.
Central defender Vasilios Lampropoulos is still injured (cruciate ligament rupture) so Dmytro Chygrynskiy and Ognjen Vranjes will most likely start as a centre-back duo for another game.
Other players who were left out from AEK’s Greek Cup group were: Michalis Bakakis, Vinicius, Astrit Ajdarevic, Christos Aravidis and top scorer Tomás Pekhart. This time Ajdarevic and Pekhart are both in AEK’s 18-man group for Thessaloniki and this will increase the attacking potential of Manolo Jimenez. Even if they do not feature from the outset.
PAOK vs AEK Athens Betting Prediction
Our betting prediction goes on PAOK (1×2 Betting) who are favourites to achieve ninth successive victory over AEK at home turf. The home factor is something extremely important in Greece and we are sure that all playoff contenders will pretty much rely on their home advantage.
Venue: “Stadio Toumbas”, Thessaloniki.
Possible Lineups of PAOK and AEK Athens
PAOK Thessaloniki: Panagiotis Glykos – Marin Leovac, Jose Crespo, Fernando Varela, Leo Matos – Jose Alberto Cañas, Gojko Cimirot, Dimitrios Pelkas – Diego Biseswar, Aleksandar Prijovic, Pedro Henrique. (4-3-3)
AEK Athens: Giannis Anestis – Dídac Vila, Ognjen Vranjes, Dmytro Chygrynskiy, Rodrigo Galo – Andre Simões, Jakob Johansson – Patito Rodríguez, Petros Mandalos, Lazaros Christodoulopoulos – Sergio Araujo. (4-2-3-1)