Most European competitions are slowly coming back to life after the summer break. The Champions League qualifiers have been going for quite a while now, and we are now in the third round. Greek side PAOK pulled a massive win at home against Russian opponents Spartak Moscow last week. The match-up is now reversed, as Spartak Moscow will try to overturn the deficit at home.
Date/Time: 8-14-2018, 13:30 EDT
Spread: PAOK +0.75
Total: 2.5 Goals
Spartak Moscow finished third in the Russian Premier League last season, and grabbed a ticket to the Champions League. Not the main even, but the qualifiers, and more specifically the third qualifying round. They met with Greek side PAOK last week in Thessaloniki, Greece, and met a really tough loss. They came out storming in the first half and took an early two-goal lead by the 17th minute. However, their opponents didn’t stop fighting and had already overturned the lead in their favor by the 44th minute. Spartak Moscow did lose that match by 2-3, but the two away goals can go a long way. Spartak Moscow have already played three matches in their domestic league so far (2-0-1), and have yet to concede.
On the other hand, PAOK finished 2nd in the Greek Super League last season, but won the domestic Cup. They have already gone through one qualifying round in the Champions League, eliminating Basel. They won by 1-2 at home and went on to destroy their opponents by 3-0 on the road. Having successfully qualified to the third round, PAOK took on Russian side Spartak Moscow last week. They were not very good in the start of the match as they conceded two early goals. However, PAOK are traditionally strong at home, and have very passionate fans. Not only did they pull even before the first half was over, but they also overturned the lead to win by 2-3.
PAOK will not make this travel in order to stand back and play defense in order to hold on to their lead. They have caused a lot of upsets against much bigger teams than Spartak Moscow over the years. They have defeated Tottenham and Dortmund on the road in European competitions, and they are always dangerous.
Spartak Moscow are in slightly better match shape, as they have already played four competitive matches and a ton of friendlies. But PAOK are coming here to score, and even if they eventually lose, we just might see goals from both sides.
Champions League Qualifiers Spartak Moscow vs PAOK Prediction: Both Teams to Score (-108)
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