MX23RW : Tuesday, January 22 21:39:48

How PAOK could line up against Chelsea

Ahead of Thursday's Europa League clash between PAOK and Chelsea, Sports Mole looks at how the home side could line up.

PAOK will face Chelsea for the first time in European competition on Thursday night when the Greek giants welcome Maurizio Sarri's side to to the Toumba Stadium.

PAOK, who finished second in the Greek top flight last season, last faced English opposition during the 2011-12 Europa League, and actually beat Tottenham Hotspur in London during that particular campaign.

The team also held Spurs to a goalless draw in the home match and have previously beaten Premier League opposition in the shape of Arsenal during the 1997-98 UEFA Cup.

Razvan Lucescu's side will enter the match having won three of their last four matches in all competitions, but the defeat during that run - at home to Benfica - saw them fail to make the group stage of the Champions League.

PAOK will now be firmly focused on making an impression in the Europa League, however, as they prepare to welcome Chelsea on Thursday night.

Here, Sports Mole looks at how the home side could line up in front of their own fans.



Possible PAOK XI vs. ARS
Out: None
Doubtful: Aleksandar Prijovic (hamstring)

PAOK's main selection dilemma entering the clash with Chelsea comes in the final third, with head coach Lucescu debating whether to select Aleksandar Prijovic.

The Serbian, who has five goals in eight matches this season, picked up a hamstring problem during a training session last week, and missed his team's 3-1 win over OFI Crete in the Greek Super League on Saturday.

The 28-year-old was expected to miss the clash with the Blues but took part in a training session on Monday, and he could now be handed a spot in the final third of the field.

PAOK also have former Arsenal forward Chuba Akpom as an option in the final third, but the Englishman is unlikely to start as Omar El Kaddouri, Leo Jaba and Diego Biseswar prepare to feature.

Jose Crespo, Fernando Varela and Vierinha, meanwhile, are all expected to start in defence.

> Click here to see how Chelsea could line up for this fixture

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Maurizio Sarri watches on during the pre-season friendly between Chelsea and Arsenal on August 1, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool23193154134160
2Manchester CityMan City23182362174556
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs23170648232551
4Chelsea23145440192147
5Arsenal23135548321644
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd23135546331344
7Watford239683232033
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves239592731-432
9Leicester CityLeicester2394102929031
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2394103034-431
11Everton238693433130
12Bournemouth2393113342-930
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2375112532-726
14Crystal Palace2364132332-922
15Southampton2357112540-1522
16Burnley2364132343-2022
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2356121931-1221
18Cardiff CityCardiff2354141944-2519
19Fulham2335152151-3014
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2325161340-2711

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