Panathinaikos v PAOK
Sunday March 08, 17:30
We said Roberto Di Matteo would take the shackles off his Schalke side, and so it came to pass. The introduction of diminutive playmaker Max Meyer proved crucial, as the youngster bagged a brace in a 3-1 victory over Hoffenheim that gave us a 2.3811/8 winner. We've had three odds-against winners and three losers this week, and we're hoping to finish on a high note.
We'll finish this week's trek in Greece, and a crucial clash between second-placed Panathinaikos and PAOK, who are third. Pana are three points behind league leaders and bitter rivals Olympiakos, while PAOK are eight points off the title pace.
Yannis Anastasiou's Panathinaikos are brimming with confidence, having put together a run of five consecutive league wins. During that sequence they have rattled in 12 goals (although three came via a 3-0 walkover against Niki Volos) and conceded just three. Their most recent victory was a 2-1 home success against Olympiakos which blew the title race wide open. Fulham fans will barely be able to believe this, but it was Mladen Petric who netted the winner against Olympiakos, and the Croatian has now hit the net in three of his last four matches. That's only two league goals fewer than he managed in his entire spell at Craven Cottage.
PAOK have seen their title challenge falter since the turn of the year, and they have won just one of their last five games. Defending isn't their strongest suit at the best of times, but they have now leaked ten goals in their last five outings. PAOK know they need a win from this fixture to get their title push back on track, and it's either famine or feast for them on the road, with eight away wins and five defeats from 13 games.
I fancy goals in this one for several reasons, and I like the look of Over 2.5 Goals at 2.47/5. There have been at least three goals in each of the clubs' last three meetings, including a 2-1 win for Pana in Thessaloniki back in November.
Panathinaikos average more than two goals per game at home, with five of their last nine games at the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium seeing an overs bet pay out. PAOK aren't shot-shy away from home, having scored 22 goals in 13 away games, but they have also shipped 21 at the other end. That price of 2.47/5 for the overs just looks too big ahead of what could be a cracking game.
Back Over 2.5 Goals at 2.47/5