The Greek team started the championship with a victory, beating Asteras at Toumba Stadium, place where is no defeated for over a year. The stadium capacity for Wednesday is sold out.
On the eve of the match against Benfica, for the 2nd leg of the Champions League play-off, the team from Salonika beat, at Toumba Stadium, Asteras, by 1-0.
Before the second leg of the Champions League play-off – on Wednesday, at 8:00 pm, at Toumba Stadium –, the coach Razvan Lucescu has made four changes concerning the starters of the last macth at Luz.
Against Asteras, PAOK started with Khacheridi in the center defense, Shakhov sided by Cañas in the midfield, Amr Warda and El Kaddouri “supporting” Prijovic. Fernando Varela, Maurício, Pelkas and Limnios were replaced.
Nevertheless, the Romanian coach was faithful to his regular system, the 4-2-3-1 with: Paschalakis; Léo Matos, Khacheridi, Crespo and Vieirinha; Cañas and Shakhov; Léo Jabá, El Kaddouri and Amr Warda; Prijovic. During the 90m were called Akpom, Biseswar and Wernbloom.
Akpom, Wernbloom and El Kaddouri were the biggest novelties. The Marroquin recovered from an injury, played the entire match and might be an option against Benfica; Wernbloom completed the first 16 minutes with PAOK, but he is not on the Champions League list. The only goal (penalty) was scored by Prijovic.
Playing home and pushed by the amazing crowd (at Toumba Stadium, has capacity for 28 701 spectators and the Greek club has already announced that the stadium will be sold out against Benfica), PAOK controlled the entire match. Finished the match with 61% ball possession, more shots (12) and free-kicks (19).
The last defeat of the Greeks, home, was on May 31, 2017 (2-3 against Panathinaikos, which had Odysseas as goalkeeper). Since then, no more defeats or ties for PAOK.
In the first leg of the Champions League play-off only a great performance of the Greek keeper Paschalakis avoided a defeat for PAOK. At Estádio da Luz, Benfica collected chances to score, but the goalkeeper was the man of the match. The match ended with a 1-1 draw, with goals by Pizzi and Amr Warda.