PAOK did their job in the first round of the Super League, as they justified the role of a strong favorite and recorded a 1:0 home win against AEL Larissa.
The hosts scored their only goal in the 16th minute over Tzolis, and even though the result isn’t saying so, this match was a pretty much one-sided one, as the hosts dominated in every segment of the game, and deserved a more convincing victory in this one.
The Greeks performed very well in their last qualification match for the Champions League against Besiktas from Turkey, as they recorded a 3:1 home victory, showing a great transition game in that match.
Overly looking PAOK was quite an effective team in the last few matches that they played, and it would be really hard for Benfica to keep their sheet clean in this one.
Right full-back Rodrigo (1/0) is out injured, as well as midfielders Misic and Douglas Augusto, both without playing in the newly started season.
The Portuguese are coming to this qualification match quite confident in their offensive capabilities, as they proved to be quite effective in friendly matches that they played prior to this one.
They defeated Braga with 2:1, Rennes with 2:0, and Bournemouth with 2:1. Benfica finished their season in the 2nd place, only next to FC Porto, against which they lost in the final of Taca de Portugal with 1:2, back in August.
Generally speaking, the Eagles are playing quite an offensive football, and I am expecting an open match here, with lots of opportunities to score.
Left back Grimaldo (26/0, last season) stands out as injured for the visitors.
PAOK knows how to respond
Benfica is a favorite in this one, especially a big favorite to progress one way or another. However, they aren’t yet to be trusted since the season is just about to start for them. On the other side, PAOK has proved to be quite an effective team and definitely won’t stay back disregarding the result.