PAOK-PAO Preview: In-form Hosts And Slumping Visitors Meet In Toumba Showdown
GREEK SUPERLEAGUE - MATCHDAY 14
|PAOK||12:30 PM (EST)||Panathinaikos|
AGONAsport’s George Tsitsonis preview the Greek Superleague derby between PAOK and Panathinaikos.
PAOK and Panathinaikos clash in a north-south derby on Sunday in Matchday 14 of the Greek Super League. It will be intriguing viewing to see how these two sides get on, especially as they are seemingly heading in different directions.
PAOK are in the ascendancy, big winners over Xanthi away last weekend and just two points behind AEK atop the Super League. Along with Panathinaikos, PAOK are happiest at home, where they have won all six of their matches this season. The win over Xanthi was actually Razvan Lucescu’s team’s first away success of the season.
Not only are Panathinaikos yet to win away this season, Marinos Ouzounidis’ men are struggling mightily as of late against the backdrop of major financial problems plaguing the club. Ouzounidis has done well to keep things held together on the pitch, but January is approaching ominously when a slew of players are set to be sold to raise funds.
Lucescu will able to call upon Djalma Campos for Sunday’s derby after the Angola attacker returned to training this week. Aleksandar Prijovic and Vieirinha both trained individually during the week, but only the former will be available. Vieirinha is enduring a stomach illness that will see him miss out.
Dimitris Kourbelis is expected to return from injury to feature on Sunday. The midfielder is expected to be passed fit and should garner a place in the starting eleven if he makes the squad. The other piece of good news for Ouzounidis is the return to the field for Lucas Villafanez.
PAOK: Paschalakis, Matos, Crespo, Varela, Canas, Cimirot, Shakhov, El Kaddouri, Pelkas, Koulouris, Prijovic
Panathinaikos: Dioudis, Johansson, Hult, Kolovetsios, Koutroubis, Kourbelis, Sylla, Cabezas, Chatzigiovannis, Altman, Molins
12/2/17 Xanthi-PAOK 0-3 (Greek Super League)
11/29/17 Aiginiakos-PAOK 0-5 (Greek Cup)
11/26/17 Panionios-PAOK 2-2 (Greek Super League)
11/20/17 PAOK-Atromitos 2-1 (Greek Super League)
11/5/17 AEK-PAOK 1-0 (Greek Super League)
12/3/17 Panathinaikos-Panionios 0-1 (Greek Super League)
11/29/17 Panahaiki-Panathinaikos 1-1 (Greek Cup)
11/25/17 Atromitos-Panathinaikos 1-1 (Greek Super League)
11/19/17 AEK-Panathinaikos 1-1 (Greek Super League)
11/4/17 Asteras Tripolis-Panathinaikos 1-0 (Greek Super League)
PAOK are fighting for the title, Panathinaikos fighting for their existence. The Thessaloniki side start out as favorites, but they should be wary of overconfidence. Panathinaikos have a poor season by their standards, however they have been at their best in the derbies against AEK and Olympiacos.
Ouzounidis’ team can match up with anyone on their day, but the question remains is how long can this side stay motivated. If PAOK are serious about the league title then they have to win as much as possible at home, because their away form at the moment is not of a championship caliber.