Perfect Toumba record fires PAOK to best run in eight years

Perfect Toumba record fires PAOK to best run in eight years

PAOK have once again turned the Toumba Stadium into a fortress, winning every match at home during the current Super League season and on course to beat a long standing club record.

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Since losing to AEK Athens 0:1 at the OAKA Stadium on November 5, PAOK have gone an impressive twelve matches without defeat in all competitions. The Thessaloniki club are putting serious pressure on reigning champions Olympiacos in the Super League, and sit in pole position to make the Greek Cup semi-finals after beating Atromitos 2:0 in the quarter-final first leg. PAOK marked the achievement by posting a picture with the statistic on their official Twitter account.

Something which cannot go unnoticed is the flawless performances of 28-year old goalkeeper Alexandros Paschalakis. After stepping in for Argentinian Rodrigo Rey, Paschalakis has not conceded a Super League goal for nine hours, something which will surely go down in club history. Even FIFA took note of the shutout streak, mentioning it on their website.

PAOK’s main strength is the incredible home form. The Toumba Stadium, a venue famed for its hugely intimidating atmosphere, has been a source of comfort for PAOK, with the team winning every fixture in Thessaloniki so far this season. Here is a list of PAOK’s Super League results at the Toumba in the 2017/2018 campaign:

Matchday 2: PAOK - Kerkyra - 3:1

Matchday 4: PAOK - Panetolikos - 1-0

Matchday 5: PAOK - PAS Giannina - 1:0

Matchday 7: PAOK - Lamia - 4:0

Matchday 9: PAOK - Asteras Tripolis - 2:0

Matchday 11: PAOK - Atromitos - 2:1

Matchday 14: PAOK - Panathinaikos - 4:0

Matchday 16: PAOK - Levadiakos - 5:0

Matchday 18: PAOK - Apollon Smyrnis - 3:0

Unsurprisingly, 27 of PAOK’s 40 points in the domestic championship have been earned in Thessaloniki. Playing some attractive football with talented players such as Dimitris Pelkas and Aleksandar Prijovic at their disposal, PAOK outshoot their opponents in all home games, on average allowing the away team to have 3.4 shots on goal. The only match when PAOK failed to register over ten goal attempts was against Atromitos (nine shots compared to Atromitos’ four).

PAOK struggled on the road during the opening stages of the season, but they have recently improved by picking up away wins against Xanthi, Platanias and Kerkyra. Overall, PAOK are on a six-game winning streak, their best run of results in Greece since the 2009/2010 season. If PAOK win the next three matches in the Super League, the Aspromavri will set a new club record for amount of consecutive victories in the championship. The current record of eight straight wins was set in the 1972/1973 and 1997/1998 seasons.

by Shaun Nicolaides
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