PAOK v Chelsea Betting Preview, Odds & Tips | 20th September
Marcello Cossali-Francis (@marchCF96) previews PAOK vs Chelsea and provides us with his best bets for Thursday night’s Europa League Group L clash by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.
PAOK v Chelsea Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 20/09/18
- Time: 17:55
- Venue: Toumba Stadium
- Channel: BT Sport
Chelsea begin their Europa League campaign with a tough trip to Greece to face last season’s Greek Superleague runners-up, PAOK, in the early evening kick-off.
Maurizio Sarri will be looking to rotate his squad for these Thursday night matches and looks set to make a number of changes for this game, with the likes of Ethan Ampadu, Danny Drinkwater, Barkley and Victor Moses all likely to be given the nod by Sarri. The games are coming thick and fast for every English side involved in Europe so squad depth is key if Chelsea are to succeed.
They should have enough to take home maximum points in this game, regardless of the changes made. Ross Barkley looks to have started the season well, as with Ethan Ampadu, who has impressed on Wales duty. Morata and Willian in the attack should be looking to create plenty of chances tomorrow.
PAOK have a decent amount of experience in this competition and were one game away from a Champions League place, had it not been for a second-leg capitulation to Benfica in the play-off. They have a strong home record, with just four defeats in their last 17 Europa League games at the Toumba Stadium. They have opened the season with three wins out of three, so come into this game with confidence they can qualify from Group L.
Chelsea are best priced at 5/6, which looks decent value considering they are probably one of the favourites for this competition. They have won five of five to start the Premier League season, so should be full of confidence. The rotation probably makes it slightly more difficult to call but the away side should have the quality to break PAOK down and bring home three points.
Regular right back, Leo Matos is ruled out for the home side due to suspension but former Arsenal striker, Chuba Akpom, could start this game for PAOK, as could Pontus Wernbloom and Vierinha.
Maurizio Sarri looks set to ring the changes here, with some fringe players getting some minutes. Emerson and Mateo Kovacic are both inured so will miss out here and Cesc Fabregas is not yet ready to play. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is also out as he recovers from an injury suffered on England duty.
Potential PAOK Starting XI: Paschalakis; Kitsiou, Varela, Crespo, Vierinha; Canas, Mauricio, Kaddouri, Pelkas, Limnios; Prijovic
Potential Chelsea Starting XI: Caballero; Zappacosta, Christensen, Cahill, Alonso; Barkley, Ampadu, Drinkwater; Moses, Morata, Willian
Head To Head
The two sides have never met before.
Key Stats & Facts
- There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Chelsea’s last six Europa League games.
- Chelsea have scored at least two goals in their last six Europa League matches.
- PAOK have won all three of their opening three league games.
- PAOK – 33/20
- Draw – 23/10
- Chelsea – 52/25
Sarri will rotate his players, so the likes of Moses, Drinkwater and Ampadu will be given the chance to impress. Barkley has started the season well and was unlucky not to score at the weekend and he will likely get plenty of chances in this season’s Europa League campaign and I fancy the 5/1 on him to score anytime.
It will be a tight game and the Greek side will try to sit deep and frustrate Chelsea and hope to hit them on the counter attack from set-pieces. But, overall, Chelsea should have enough to edge a tight-affair.