PAOK vs Benfica – Champions League – PAOK: Greek team that occupies the 4th spot of the Greek championship with 3 points in 1 game.
PAOK vs Benfica –They started the championship last Friday and beat AEL Larissa by 1-0, in a reasonable display that allowed them to score in the 1st half and win the game.
PAOK even played better in the second half comparing to the first.
The win was fair but it’s easy to see that they are a team that at some times shows defensive issues, some hesitation when it comes to get rid of the ball, but for their national context it should be enough to at least fight for the title they couldn’t win last year.
Abel has remained in charge and has already throwed the favouritism to the Portuguese team side.
Benfica: Portuguese team that finished 2nd in the league last year and therefore is forced to play the qualifying phase of this Champions League.
Benfica were not at their usual level last season and lost several points that cost them the title when they were even leaders with some advantage to their rivals of FC Porto.
Benfica has reinforced itself well this year, signing experienced quality players from which I point out Everton Cebolinha, ex Gremio winger, that should “explode” in Portuguese football.
Benfica performed quite well throughout their pre season matches, they have won every match and now there’s a big expectation regarding this first big test for a competition in which it is very important for Benfica to qualify for.
Conclusion: I believe that Benfica can defeat this PAOK team in Greece. The game will not have audience and that itself gives some advantage to the eagles who will be happy to avoid facing a hostile environment in Greece.
It will be a game decided in one leg only and that’s also why I see Benfica wanting to take over the match, showing up an offensive style of play at the image of the coach Jorge Jesus, and so I think that all the conditions are met here for Benfica to win.
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PAOK vs Benfica – Prediction:
A curious and important fact to note is that Abel never defeated Benfica and also, from what I saw of PAOK in the opening game of their championship and from what I saw of Benfica in their pre season games, I would say that the red ones have excellent chances to win and move on.
Benfica to win the match is my bet.