Tudor is under pressure
PAOK is running out of excuses and Tudor is beginning to feel the heat of being a coach in a club with so demanding supporters. It is true the team needed time to bond and adopt the tactics of their new coach but November has found PAOK 8pts away from the second place in Super League and they are almost out of the Europa League. The next opponent, Panthrakikos, looks like a chance to return to wins and maybe good performances. The preview and betting pick:
Analysis: PAOK – Panthrakikos
*This season for the Cup: PAOK – Panthrakikos: 2-0
*Referee: Dimitropoulos Alexandros. This season: 3 games (0 home win, 1 draw, 2 away wins) / Total goals: 8 / Total penalties: 1
PAOK was defeated in the last away match against Asteras Tripolis (2-1) and practically destroyed everything they had built after the easy home win against Panathinaikos (3-1). Pelkas scored at 23’ offering his team a great start and the lead by halftime. Asteras Tripolis added a lot of pressure (total attempts 12-6) and managed to score twice (49’ and 82’). Tudor characterized the performance of his team during the second half as the worst since he took over and the truth is that PAOK came close to conceding a third goal. A new midweek defeat from Krasnodar (same score, 2-1) has now left PAOK almost out of the Europa League although the second place (the first is locked by Dortmund) was theoretically within their reach. The two late results have triggered rumors about a replacement of the coach. There important problems reported but there is no other result than the win against a weak club like Panthrakikos.
Injured: Vítor (DEF/9/2 goals), Konstantinidis (DEF/6), Leovac (DEF/6/1 assist), Kaçe (MID/6), Berbatov (FWD/6/3 goals)
Panthrakikos showed some improvement in the home draw against Xanthi (0-0, total attempts 12-3) but their next away match against Giannina (2-0) was a disaster. It was practically a miracle they conceded only two goals as the home team was in total control (total attempts 23-10) having three attempts at the bar (12’, 40’ penalty kick and 64’). Coach Eleftheropoulos is still optimistic about the future of his team but Panthrakikos is running out of time. Furthermore, their schedule, at least until the end of the first round is not promising any points as they will be facing only top teams.
Injured: Tzanis (FWD/2, key player), Igor (FWD/5)
Betting Pick: The win of PAOK (-1.5) @ 1.80
PAOK has confidence issues but they must commit suicide to lose this match. They have already won Panthrakikos once in the Cup with a secondary lineup. Tudor has stated in the past that the main goal of his team is the second place of Super League so my guess is that he will do anything in his power to give a quick end here.