PAOK vs Fiorentina
UEFA Europa League – Group Stage
Date: Thursday, 15th September, 2016,
Kick-Off: 20:05 UK,
Venue: Toumba Stadium, Thessaloniki, Greece.
PAOK Thessaloniki defeated Dinamo Tbilisi in the play-off with a 5-0 aggregate score to book their place in this season’s Europa League. They were in the qualifiers for Champions League, but were shown the exit door by Ajax Amsterdam due a 2-1 home loss in the second leg.
The Greek side had a disappointing campaign in Europa League last season, where they failed to get past the group phase. They managed a win, drawn 4 and finished with 7 points behind FC Krasnodar and Borussia Dortmund in Group C.
Fiorentina are making their fourth consecutive appearance in the Europa League and got past the group phase on all three occasions. They were eliminated in the round of 32 by Premier League side Tottenham last season. But their best run in recent run came in the 2014/15 season, when they reached the semi-finals.
PAOK vs Fiorentina: Head-to-Head Stats
The previous meeting between PAOK and Fiorentina was during the Group stages of 2014/2015 Europa League. The Greek outfit suffered a 1-0 loss in the home fixture, but managed a 1-1 draw in the away leg in Florence.
PAOK haven’t fared well against Italian teams as they managed just 1 win from the 12 matches, losing 7 and drawing 4.
While Fiorentina’s lone meeting with a Greek club was against AEK Athens in the group stage of 2007/08 UEFA cup, which finished 1-1 in Athena.
PAOK vs Fiorentina: Prediction
PAOK have failed to progress from their group in the last two seasons. They have also shown that they do not fare well against quality sides with their defeat against Ajax in the Champions League qualifying third round. Also they have drawn in all three matches of last season’s Europa League group matches.
Fiorentina are a side who are not at the top of their game at the moment, but they have progressed from their group in the last three seasons. They do know how to pick points in cup games and are favourites to get something from this opening fixture.
PAOK vs Fiorentina: Bet Tips
Double Chance – Draw/Fiorentina at 1.42 (4/7)
Under 2.5 goals at 2.35 (15/11).