8/25/20 2 pm
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Paok is hosting Besiktas at Toumba Stadium in Qualification Round 2 in the UEFA Champions League Qualifications.
Paok ended Greek Super League in second place with 73 points, 58 scored goals, and 29 conceded goals, and people would think they were close to the title, but they were massive 18 points away. In the preseason, Paok has played 2 friendly games, and they have 1 draw and 1 win. Augusto and Misic are both injured, and they will not be in the lineup for this game. There weren’t any notable arrivals or departures to Paok as of yet, but there is still time for Paok to bring some reinforcements for next season. Paok is a good team, and there are some solid players in their roster, but Paok has been slowly declining and Aek and Panathinaikos are both pressuring them, but Olympiacos is still miles ahead of all of them. Despite their decent form, this will a tough game for Paok, and it’s even worse because these qualification games are being played on only 1 game now, but because they are playing at home, Paok has a decent chance to get through to the next stage.
Besiktas is one of the best Turkish teams, but they ended the season in third place with 62 points, just 7 points behind Basaksehir on top. The main difference between Besiktas and Basaksehir was the defense, which was better in Basaksehir. Since their last Turkish Super Lig on July 25th, Besiktas hasn’t played a game, which could potentially be a big issue for them, but Besiktas hasn’t lost any of their last 4 games. Ljajic is the only injured player for Besiktas, while Mirin and Oktay are ineligible to play just yet. There were no notable arrivals to Besiktas, but Erkin, Gonul, and Yilmaz all left the club for free after their contracts expired. There are still a lot of good players like Vida, Hutchinson, Uysal, Ozyakup, and Yalcin left in Besiktas, but Besiktas has had a lot of financial problems over the last few years, and there are a lot of rumors that more players will leave the team, but none of those rumors have come true just yet. Besiktas has been solid in Turkey, and they are a good team with some success in Europe. The date of the new Super Lig season is still unknown, but if Besiktas gets into the Champions League, they will make a lot of money, the money that will help them sing some players, and you can be sure that the players will go on the field ready to give it they're all.
Paok and Besiktas have never played against each other, but I think Besiktas is the better team here, and I believe they will go to the next stage, but I will rather pick something on goals because this is a one-game knockout, and if one team scores a goal, the other one has to attack right away.