Our prediction for this Champions League match:
By beating the likes of Basel and Spartak Moscow, PAOK set up a meeting with Benfica in the Champions League final qualifying round. The Black and Whites have been producing thrilling performances in the qualifiers for the elite competition, but Benfica are likely to pose a much bigger threat for them than their previous rivals. The Eagles, on the other hand, eliminated Fenerbahce in the third qualifying round and they are considered favourites to win the upcoming two-legged tie against PAOK. It is well known that the Portuguese vice-champions have turned their Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica into a real fortress and we predict that they are going to prove their worth on the field. A man to watch in the home team will be Argentine winger Eduardo Salvio, who scored 9 goals in the Primeira Liga last season. In their last meeting in European competitions Benfica recorded a 3-0 win over PAOK.
Highlighted Player (Andreas Samaris):
Greece international midfielder Andreas Samaris began his career playing for Panachaiki before his spells with Panionios and Olympiakos. SL Benfica is the first international experience for the 27-year-old player who arrived in Portugal in 2014.
A full international since 2013, Samaris represented Greece at the 2014 FIFA World Cup during which he managed to make his presence known and earn a move abroad. Andreas Samaris operates as a central midfield but is capable of filling in defensive midfielder role. Greek international was the mainstay for Benfica during his first two seasons at the club managing 46 Primeira Liga appearances during the period. He also added 12 Champions League appearances.
Andreas Samaras helped Benfica win two Primeira Liga titles, two Taca da Liga trophies and one Super Cup. Greek international was the regular performer for his national team during the unsuccessful Euro 2016 qualifying campaign with ten games to his name.
Highlighted Team (PAOK):
PAOK are regarded as one of the most famous clubs in Greece. The club’s biggest rivals are Olympiakos, but they have a great rivalry with local rivals Aris as well. The Double-headed eagle play their home games at Toumba Stadion Thessaloniki and the capacity of the venue is 28 803.
PAOK are a real force to be reckoned with at home, but they often struggle when playing on the travels. The club won their first Greek Superleague title in 1976 and nine years later their clinched their second domestic trophy, finishing the season three points clear of Panathinaikos.
Speaking of the club’s European success, the Black and Whites made it to the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in the 1973/1974 season, but they were outplayed by Italian giants Milan in the two-legged tie. PAOK were founded on 20 April, 1926 and they play their home games in black and white shirts and black shorts. The club’s away colours are white.