• PAOK have already taken out Beşiktaş and Benfica in these qualifying rounds and now have an arguably easier opponent. Although this match is being played in Russia we are back to two-legged qualification games so they'll be more than happy to take a draw back to Thessaloniki
  • In both matches, PAOK played counter-attacking football surrendering possession to their opponents. Besiktas managed to rack up 16 attempts totalling 1.56xG and Benfica managed 15 attempts on goal totalling 1.36xG
  • In both games Ferreira has played a defensive narrow 5-4-1 relying heavily on fast counter-attacks. In both matches, the opposition struggled to create good goal scoring chances and I expect the same here.
  • Under Ferreira, PAOK have lost just one UCL qualification game from 4. That came in the form of the 3-2 loss to Ajax in Amsterdam, no shame there.
  • From his 28 games managed in the league, his side are unbeaten in 25 conceding less than a goal per game.
  • Domestically things have started quite well for PAOK too (at least defensively) They've allowed just 0.3 and 0.53xGA in their opening two Greek Super League
  • In terms of team news, PAOK have no automatic starters missing and even rotated at the weekend against Atromitos
  • Lastly, trips to Russia can often be tough for teams in Europe but the travel time between Greece and Krasnodar isn't big and they won't have to contend with adverse weather conditions (temperate 20°C expected)

Krasnodar

  • Krasnodar won't have fond memories of facing Greek opposition in Europe, Olympiakos put 6 past them last year over two legs in UCL qualification
  • Since then Krasnodar had an unsuccessful Europa campaign that seen them eliminated in the group phase by Basel and Getafe
  • The RFPL is 8 games in and Krasnodar currently sit 7th, Krasnodar have put up some impressive xG and goalscoring numbers thanks to a 7-2 demolition of newly-promoted FC Khimki but if we look a bit deeper their start to the season hasn't been that great
  • Their 3 wins all came against teams lingering in the bottom 7 of the RFPL (Khimki, Arsenal Tula, and FC Ufa)
  • CSKA are the best team they have faced this season and they managed a 1-1
  • Krasnodar have never made it to the UCL and have only ever won a single game in qualification. That came in the form of a shock 3-2 win over Porto last season. The Russians scored 3 times off 0.74xG
  • Krasnodar have played a total of 24 European matches over the last 3 seasons while only keeping a clean sheet in 16.66% of those games. If they concede to PAOK here I see them in massive trouble for this tie. (From those 24 matches their average xGA is 1.45 per 90)

Final word: In my opinion, this looks like it could well be a low scoring draw with chances at a premium. We can't discount the Greeks stealing a goal either, they are the better side in my opinion.

PAOK +0.5 Asian Handicap at 1.87 with Pinnacle - 2 units (Anything above 1.82 is good)