Preview: PAOK - Ajax
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE 3RD QUALIFYING ROUND, LEG 2
|PAOK||2:30 PM (EST)||Ajax|
|(1 - 1)
PAOK hosts Ajax in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League 3rd Qualifying Round and AGONAsport.com brings you a preview of tomorrow's match. The first leg ended 1-1 in Holland. Kick off is scheduled for 2:30 PM (EST), 9:30 PM (Greek time).
PAOK: PAOK will hope to take advantage of their good result in Holland (1-1) when they host Ajax in Thessaloniki. The hosts will have a sold out crowd and the fans are expected to create a fantastic atmosphere at the Toumba Stadium, serving as the team’s 12th man. PAOK will have the slight advantage after their first leg, however Ajax will be determined to get the result that will send them through to the next round. Ivic, who was with PAOK 6 years ago in a similar situation against Ajax, will make sure the Dikefalos tou Vora does not make the same mistakes as in 2010, when Ajax progressed on away goals (1-1 in Holland, 3-3 in Greece).
Starting Line-up: Vladan Ivic will present PAOK in the same formation (4-3-3) and line up as the first leg. Glykos will be under the goalposts with Leo Matos, Crespo, Tzavellas, and Leovac in front of him. The three midfielders will be Cimirot, Shakhov, and Charissis with Campos, Rodrigues, and Athanasiadis up front. There are no injuries to report from PAOK, however both Pelkas and Pereyra were left out of the roster.
Ajax: Ajax will travel to Greece in hopes of a better result in comparison to the first leg. The Dutch club still consider themselves the favorites to advance, despite the intimidating atmosphere that awaits them at the Toumba Stadium. The players know that at minimum they will need to score a goal to advance as a second away goal will change the momentum of the game. Ajax’s head coach Frank de Boer will not have his star striker Arkadiusz Milik, who signed a deal with Napoli over the weekend. Additionally, another striker, Younes, has been ruled out due to injury while Bazoer has traveled to Greece after recovering from his injury (absent in the first leg).
Scenarios: The two teams will play tonight for a place in the UEFA Champions League Playoff Qualifying Round with the “defeated” team (on aggregate) moving down to the UEFA Europa League Playoff Qualifying Round. A win for either club will send them through while PAOK will progress with a goalless draw. Extra time will be played if the game ends in a 1-1 draw as a draw greater than 1-1 (2-2, 3-3) will send Ajax to the next round on away goals.
Referee: The head official will be Anthony Taylor from England. He has refereed for PAOK on one previous occasion, in last year’s 1-1 draw against Borussia Dortmund, in Greece, in the Europa League Group Stage.
TV Listings: The match will be shown on the Greek Channel SportPlus in the United States, Canada, and Australia on 1.5 HOUR DELAY (will broadcast at 4:00 PM, EST). Additionally, LaOla1.tv will be showing the game LIVE which provides a reliable and good quality stream in HD. In Greece, Novasports 2 will broadcast the game. More info under TV Listings page.