PAOK vs Basel Betting Tips, Prediction & Odds
The second round of 2018/19 Champions League qualifying starts on Tuesday 24th July and there is a big game in Greece between PAOK Salonika and Basel. Both teams have come through to this stage of the draw automatically having qualified via the league route. PAOK finished second in the Greek Super League last season and Basel finished in the same position in the Swiss Super League.
Both teams will believe they have a chance of reaching the group stages this season.
PAOK are currently in preseason and the 2018/19 Greek Super League campaign is not due to start until the 25th August.
Therefore, PAOK have been playing friendly matches in a bid to get ready for this game. They started on the 29th June with a 2-2 draw against Anderlecht and this was followed by a 2-1 defeat against Nordsjaelland.
PAOK have picked up a bit of form since that defeat, winning games against FC Steaua Bucuresti, Antwerp and De Graafschap plus picking up a draw against Gent.
PAOK performed well at both ends of the pitch last season, scoring 59 goals and conceding 19. However, one glance at PAOK’s Champions League record reveals they have failed to win any of their previous 10 games in the competition.
Much like their opponents, Basel are still waiting for their domestic league season to start. Last season, Basel finished well off the pace in the Swiss Super League to finish second, the first time in 8 seasons they have failed to win the title.
Preseason has been going poorly for Basel and having won 3 and drawn one of their first 4 friendly games, they have lost each of the last 4 matches. There have been defeats to Wolverhampton Wanderers, Aarau, Feyenoord and St Gallen. The 5-0 loss to Feyenoord was particularly disappointing.
However, Basel have a good record in the Champions League and reached the Round of 16 last season, beating Benfica, Manchester United and Manchester City.
PAOK should be close to full strength for this game. Dorian Leveque is injured but is the only player expected to be unavailable and new signings Leo Jaba and Evgen Khacheridi could be involved.
Basel have a long list of potential absentees with Eder Balanta, Taulant Xhaka, Samuele Campo and Zravko Kumanovic all expected to miss out. However, Silvan Widmer, Dimitri Oberlin and Aldo Kalulu have recently joined the club and could start.
Top Betting Tips
PAOK start this match as the favourites with the bookmakers to win the game but their form at home in the Champions League is unimpressive. Basel may not be at full strength for this game but they will believe they can hold their own and the draw is 12/5 with William Hill.
If the friendly games are anything to go by, PAOK will score goals in this game but also concede and we could be in for an entertaining match. The draw and both teams to score is 10/3 with William Hill.
Basel will not underestimate the importance of away goals in this tie, so expect to see them attack whenever possible, leading to an open game. The 2-2 correct score is available at 16/1 with Ladbrokes.