PAOK vs Chelsea
UEFA Europa League
Date: Thursday, 20 September 2018
Kick-Off at 17:55 UK / 18:55 CET
Venue: Stadio Toumbas (Thessaloniki).
A silver cloud appeared over Stamford Bridge after a rather poor pre-season followed by a tough loss to Manchester City in the Community Shield. Nevertheless, the new head coach Maurizio Sarri managed to turn Chelsea’s fortunes around just at the right time as the Blues suddenly became one of main title challengers after making a dream start to the new Premier League campaign.
The team indeed looks much better under sari than his compatriot predecessor Antonio Conte. Chelsea have a perfect record with five wins form five in the top flight of English football. They’ll be looking to bring such form into the continental competition as they are set to open proceedings in Europa League with the away fixture against PAOK on Thursday evening.
PAOK vs Chelsea: Head-to-head
The two teams did not have the chance to lock horns in the past.
PAOK vs Chelsea: Prediction
Chelsea’s build-up play under Sarri has been phenomenal of late. The team bagged as many as four goals in the comeback victory over Cardiff City on Saturday. Eden Hazard was brilliant as he completed a hat-trick on the occasion, while Willian set the final score late on.
Such form of the Blues will definitely give Razvan Lucescu a headache ahead of the Thursday’s affair. PAOK have been Europa League regulars for a while now, but they did little to leave a deeper mark making it to the knockout stages just once in past five years.
The hosts began the new season in the domestic league in a fine fashion winning seven points from three games. However, such run will count for little when they come face to face with such a strong opposition.
Lucescu’s men struggled against European big-hitters Benfica in the Champions League play-offs, falling 1-4 in the reverse fixture on the home patch.
Sarri will definitely mix up his starting line-up here, but the Blues should still be too strong for the Greek outfit.
PAOK vs Chelsea: Bet Tips
• Chelsea to win @ 1.80 (4/5)
• Chelsea Over 1.5 Team Goals @ 1.80 (4/5).