Go Get What You Deserve
AGONAsport’s Olympiacos contributor, Theo Bouras, talks about Olympiacos’ big clash against PAOK at the Toumba stadium in Thessaloniki.
It’s hard to argue right now that Olympiacos are not the hottest team in the Greek Super League. Back-to-back 4:0 wins against Larissa and Panionios brought the Reds six points in back of PAOK going into Sunday’s derby match at Toumba stadium.
The Erythrolefki needed a PAOK slip-up last week against AEK Athens and their wish was granted. The AEK-PAOK derby match ended 1:1 and the game itself is one that will quickly be forgotten. Pedro Martins knows that only a victory is acceptable this Sunday. If Olympiacos manages to get a win in Thessaloniki, they would find themselves just three points in back of PAOK.
The Starting XI is all but set for the 44-time Greek Champions; Jose Sa will be the starting goalkeeper. The experienced right back Vasilis Torosidis will be replacing the injured Omar Elabdellaoui while the regular trio of Jagos Vukovic, Pape Abou Cisse, and Leonardo Koutris will be completing the defensive line. Daniel Podence, Kostas Fortounis, and Lazaros Christodoulopoulos will play behind either Miguel Angel Guerrero (who is the favorite to start) or Ahmed Hassan. Defensive midfielder Guilherme has been a rock for the team since he began appearing regularly in October. He will be playing next to either Mady Camara or Bibras Natkho.
Martins has made it clear that he is going to Toumba for the victory; any other result this Sunday would pretty much guarantee PAOK the Greek Super League crown. The Red camp has been very quiet as the derby approaches. They haven’t made any big statements or provoked with any comments on social media. Meanwhile, the circus act in Thessaloniki has continued. I’ve lost track of how many points Razvan Lucescu claims his team should be in front in the standings. Ivan Savvidis’ son, Giorgos, has mocked the team from Piraeus on his social media account, sarcastically asking “Are you guys going to show up this time?” He’s probably forgetting that less than three years ago, his father decided that PAOK wouldn’t show up for the second leg of the Greek Cup semi-final at the Karaiskakis stadium after losing 1:2 in the first leg at home.
If Olympiacos do manage to win on Sunday, the top of the league would catch fire. A 0:1 win would, in theory, negate the 0-1 loss the Reds suffered at the hands of PAOK at the Georgios Karaiskakis stadium. Any other win would give the Thrylos the advantage if the teams were to ever end up tied in the league standings.
Pedro Martins can sleep well knowing that his team is peaking at the right time. Aside from playing quick and exciting football, Olympiacos have the league’s best depth for this long haul. If the Erythrolefki play the level they are capable of, PAOK won’t be able to stop them. Martins and his players don’t fear Toumba. If the game is played strictly on the field, the better team will get what they deserve; and that better team is Olympiacos.
To conclude, I would like to pay my respects to the 21 victims who lost their lives 38 years ago yesterday. May we never have to see such a tragedy anywhere, again.