PAOK vs Skoda Xanthi by Isaiah
PAOK starts the season with high morale, as although they eliminated from Champions League playoffs from Metalist Kharkov, they took advantage of UEFA decision who punished the Ukrainians due to a fixed game before four years, and they are back to Champions League next Wednesday where they will face Schalke away.
The climate is excellent for PAOK and the season looks promising for them. They improved their budget this season to 45 millions and they signed some quality players during summer, including ex. Coach of Schalke Huub Stevens, while the target for this season is the title. Everything shows that this season in Greece will be a battle between Olympiakos and PAOK, as both teams made good moves during summer and they are looking stronger than all other teams in Greek League.
PAOK improved their roster a lot in comparison with last season, as lot of crap players left the team and some quality additions were made. They signed left winger Miroslav Stoch from Fenerbahce, striker Tomas Necid from CSKA Moscow, left back Spiropoulos from Chievo, winger Lucas from Karpaty Lviv, right back Skondras from Atromitos, defender Inigo Lopez from Granada, defender Miguel Vitor from Benfica and defensive midfielder Tziolis from Monaco. Surely their roster is stronger than the last five years.
Skoda Xanthi has already given four official games for the Europa League and they started their season preparation very early in comparison with other Greek teams. They qualified to the second round of Europa League against Linfield and then they were disqualified against Standard Liege.
For another season Skoda Xanthi did not spent cash for transfers and they consecrated to free transfers. They signed attacking midfielder Carlos Calvo from Almeria, defensive midfielder Julian de Guzman from Regensburg, striker Solari from Apollon Limassol, and keeper Chema from Xerez. But they lost striker Onwuachi, keeper Lodygin to Zenit and attacking midfielder Dani to Setubal. Generally Skoda Xanthi will be in same quality this season, with the same target, and they do not seem that they have something special to their roster to reach top six. Karim Soltani and Serge Die are both out for tonight's game.
PAOK has everything needed to start the season with a convincing win.