SLGR Matchday 23 Preview: PAOK And Olympiacos Set For Tense Derby
GREEK SUPERLEAGUE - MATCHDAY 23
|Date||Home Team||Time||Away Team|
|24-Feb-18||PAS Giannina||8:00 AM||Levadiakos|
|24-Feb-18||Panionios||10:15 AM||Asteras Tripolis|
|25-Feb-18||Xanthi||8:00 AM||Apollon Smyrnis|
AGONAsport’s George Tsitsonis brings you a full preview for matchday 23 of the Greek SuperLeague.
Matchday 23 of the 2017/18 Greek Super League is highlighted by Sunday night’s derby between PAOK and Olympiacos at the Toumba Stadium in Thessaloniki. It’s a massive match for both clubs with regard to their title aspirations. Elsewhere, AEK face a very difficult test away to Atromitos while Panionios and Asteras contest a match with big European implications.
The AGONAsport Match of the Week could be none other than PAOK vs Olympiacos this weekend. PAOK are desperately on the trail of their first league title since 1985 and currently hold a two point lead over AEK atop the Super League. Their lead over Olympiacos stands at nine points. This means anything other than a victory for Olympiacos will all but end their hopes for an eighth consecutive title. A win for PAOK would see them pass through one of their toughest remaining fixtures, though Razvan Lucescu’s side must play the remaining top five teams in the division down the stretch.
AEK will do well to pass through Peristeri in the Monday night match as their opponents, Atromitos, have lost only once at home all season. The Kitrinomavri will be looking to take advantage of any PAOK slip-up in order to reclaim first place in the standings. AEK are coming off a disappointing exit to Dynamo Kiev in the Europa League, going out of the competition in the Round of 32 on away goals to the Ukrainian side. Atromitos are a shoo-in for a European place and have lost just two matches all season. The surprise package of the season in Greece have regained form after dropping some points after the New Year.
Fifth place in the league appears to be up for grabs with six points separating seven teams seeking the league’s final European place for next season. Panionios are currently in fifth and host an improved Asteras Tripolis side on Saturday. That result could have a real impact on Panionios’ ability to lock down that spot.
Xanthi and PAS Giannina are two and three points behind Panionios respectively and both have home matches this weekend. Xanthi will look to rebound from a poor outing against AEK last week (a 4-0 away loss) as they take on relegation battlers Apollon Smirnis. PAS Giannina meanwhile look to have a tougher test on paper with Levadiakos coming to town.
It may seem like a longshot, but Panathinaikos have been tabbed as possible fifth place finishers after victory last week away to Larisa. If they manage to make it two wins in a row with a win this Saturday against Lamia then surely the troubled club could be in the thick of the race for continental football down the stretch.
Panetolikos have put themselves into the mix for a European berth as their form under Traianos Dellas has been superb. This week they will fancy their chances against Kerkyra, one of only two sides in the league that have failed to win an away match. Kerkyra could bring momentum with them however as they picked up a vital win over Apollon last week to bolster their hopes of avoiding relegation.
Finally, Larisa play host to Platanias on Sunday as new manager Ratko Dostanic sits on the bench for the first time. Dostanic has extensive experience in Greece and coached Larisa a few years back when he won promotion with the club from the Football League to the Super League.