After failing to win at home, Schalke 04 needs to secure all three points in Greece against a team that knows how to defend even the slightest advantage. PAOK Salonic is hardly a force in European football, yet they have home pitch advantage and a rare opportunity to make the groups of Europa League.
Bet: PAOK Salonic 1X
Odds: Bet365 1.85
Contrary to popular belief German football didn’t make giant leaps forward in the last couple of years, with only Dortmund and Bayern Munchen standing out from the crowd. Schalke 04 is frequently overestimated by bookmakers both in European competitions and Bundesliga and so far they managed to disappoint every single time. They post impressive ball possession numbers and send a hail of shots at the opponents’ goal, but their efforts are generally fruitless.
After a fairly successful campaign of friendly games, PAOK Salonic bowed out of the Champions League qualifiers and will have to settle for the lesser competition. Coach Stevens used two strikers in Germany, but midfielder Stoch featured in the same line and not surprisingly he was the one who scored the equalizer in the 73rd minute. It is only fair to assume that if the Greeks used such an aggressive starting formation in Gelsenkirchen, they will stick to it in the second leg.
Numbers don’t lie and they show that Schalke 04 won a single game in the last five matches, against an opponent playing in the third German division. Value rests with the Greeks and punters should take odds of 1.85 offered by Bet365 for PAOK Salonic not to lose at home.