Chelsea vs PAOK Thessaloniki Predictions

  • 20:00
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  • Stamford Bridge
Chelsea
    PAOK Thessaloniki
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      odds when tipped

      odds when tipped

      Tip Reasoning

      Chelsea fell to their first defeat since their Community Shield loss against Manchester City at the weekend as an excellent Tottenham side beat their London rivals 3-1 at Wembley, but it could be a very different side that faces PAOK on Thursday.

      The Blues 1-0 win at BATE in the last round of Europa League fixtures saw them pick up their 4th consecutive win in the group stages, a result that leaves them 6 points clear of 2nd placed Vidi and 9 clear of PAOK in 3rd. That means they have not only already qualified for the knockout stages, but they are all but guaranteed the top spot in Group L.

      Eden Hazard is carrying a knock and is unlikely to be risked, and we could see a whole host of Chelsea players rested in preparation for a busy December in the Premier League. Maurizio Sarri will want to keep his squad fresh, and that gives PAOK a chance to defy the odds.

      PAOK are 3 points off the qualifying positions in Group L, with BATE below them also matching their 3 point tally. The race for 2nd place is well and truly on, so PAOK will be hoping to take advantage of the potentially rotated Chelsea squad.

      So far this season the Greek side have beaten BATE 4-1 away from home in the Europa League, but have lost all 3 of their other games. However, they did only lose by a single goal in 2 of these 3 defeats, including limiting Chelsea to 1 goal in Greece on matchday 1.

      That isn’t the only time that Chelsea have struggled in the Europa League either. They only managed 1-0 victories over both Vidi at home and BATE away, with their only truly comfortable victory coming at home to BATE in October when they won 3-1.

      In fairness to the hosts, they have never really looked like losing these games. They have simply struggled to break down sides and been confident in protecting a narrow lead. This, along with their likely rotation of players and PAOK’s narrow margins of defeat so far, makes backing PAOK +1.5 Asian Handicap look a good choice. We do think Chelsea will win though, so we’re also going for another 1-0 correct score predictions.

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