PAOK vs Maccabi Haifa by Isaiah
PAOK managed to get a important 2:0 victory over Asteras Tripolis last weekend, as the team made a good performance scoring goals at the end of the first half-time and at the beginning of the second, both by Vitor, while they had a few more decent chances that could have bring them even higher margin victory.
In any way, the team remained in a very good atmosphere as they are coming from two consecutive home victories previously beating Panathinaikos 2:1, while the team actually didn't lose in last nine matches counting seven victories out of these nine still chasing Olympiakos, team that is ranked first and has three points more than them. In Europa League, the team has a victory and a draw, being currently tied at first position together with AZ Alkmaar and although everything is still open in that group, a victory tonight would be a giant step towards securing the qualification for them. On the other side, this will be the first match in front of their own fans, since their stadium was closed with a UEFA's suspension and certain further morale boost is expected in the roster. Left back Tzavellas (1/0), defensive midfielder Pablo Garcia (no participation yet), winger Georgiadis (2/0) and striker Oliseh (6/0) are left out from the mission for tonight's game.
Maccabi Haifa, on the other side, disappointed in the group stage so far, as they lost to AZ Alkmaar at home with a narrow 0:1 result, but also weren't capable of winning against outsider of the group Shakhtar Karagandy away from home drawing with a 2:2 result. In fact, they were 2:0 down in that match and only upped their performance in the second half.
Even though the team had chances to complete turnover the game, they lost the opportunity to snatch the whole three points. In the national championship, they have started really badly, with only a 2-2-2 record and are already eight points away from the leaders from Maccabi Tel Aviv. However, the team has slightly improved in last three matches, staying undefeated but will surely have a long path recovering from their results early in the season. Central defender Keinan (5/0), left back Twatiha (2/0) and midfielder Golasa (4/0) all recovered and will be included into the roster, while winger Katan (6/0) returns to matches too. Striker Turgeman (6/1) isn't ready and won't compete tonight.
PAOK seems to be in more than a nice form at the moment, especially when playing in front of their own fans. They have a great chance to make a great step towards the qualification to the next stage and shouldn't blow it up against an opponent that is out of form and surely looks much more of getting the right results in the domestic league.