Greek side PAOK play host to surprise package Ostersund in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League play-off round. Following statistics and past performances, a sensible person would say PAOK should win this match comfortably.
PAOK have made it to at least the group stage of this competition in each of the past four seasons, and are just 180 minutes away from making it five seasons in a row. In the previous round, PAOK took on Ukrainian team Olimpic Donetsk. After being held to a 1-1 draw away in the first leg, they showed their superiority to win the second leg 2-0 and advance to this play-off round.
Since the second leg of that tie, they have played two club friendlies. The first, against PAS Giannina, ended in a 1-1 draw and the second was a 1-0 defeat to Lamia. Regardless of a couple of poor results in non-competitive games, PAOK will still come into this match fully confident of giving themselves a commanding lead to take into the reverse fixture.
Swedish side Ostersund are the surprise package of the competition this season, in their first ever European club competition. Formed just twenty years ago, Ostersund have only been a top-flight club since 2015 and won their first ever trophy earlier on this year when they lifted the Swedish Cup. That cup win earned them a place in the Europa League qualifiers, for the first time in their short existence.
Entering at the second qualifying round, they had slim expectations as they were drawn to face Galatasaray. However, they went on to cause the biggest upset of the tournament when they beat the Turkish side 2-0 in the first leg. That was followed by a hard-fought 1-1 draw in Turkey, and Ostersund had won their first ever European tie.
They took on Fola in the next round, winning 1-0 and 2-1 to make it through to this stage. The Swedish club managed by an English former professional, who made eight Premier League appearances for Southampton many moons ago, could put themselves one step closer to the group stage with another surprise victory here.
Head to Head
This is the first meeting between these sides.
Betting Odds and Predictions
PAOK are obviously the favourites here, priced at 1/2 with Ladbrokes, but Ostersund have already proven they can upset the odds and will be confident of doing it again. The Swedish side are 11/2 to win, and 13/5 for the draw, and we predict there will be plenty of punters putting their money on another cup upset.
Odds of 1/2 provide excellent profit potential, and we must believe PAOK will pick up the win here. Ostersund have scored away in both previous rounds, and it may be worth the risk to have a little punt on them doing so again here. They are priced at 19/20 to score Over 0.5 Goals, which is almost an even money bet.
Both Teams to Score also looks a tempting price, at 5/4. In all honesty, everyone knows cup upsets happen and there’s a possibility Ostersund will come out on top. However, we only give predictions based on analytical reasoning and every statistic points to a convincing home win in this match.
Top Betting Tip
Based on the statistical information available, our top betting tip for this match is PAOK to Win. This is priced at 1/2 in the ‘Match Result’ market at Ladbrokes.