MX23RW : Sunday, June 13 03:18:47| >> :600:489381:489381:
Oct 29, 2020 at 8pm UK at Estadio Nuevo Los Cármenes
GranadaGranada
0-0
PAOKPAOK

Herrera (45'), Vallejo (68')
FT

Defendi (25'), Giannoulis (64'), Zivkovic (74'), Douglas (90+2')

Preview: Granada vs. PAOK - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League match between Granada and PAOK, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Granada host PAOK in Group E as the 2020-21 Europa League continues, with both sides looking to build on unbeaten starts on matchday one of the competition.

The Spanish side recorded a superb 2-1 win at PSV Eindhoven, with PAOK perhaps disappointed after drawing 1-1 at home to Omonia.


Match preview

Granada players celebrate scoring against Athletic Bilbao on September 12, 2020© Reuters

Granada's seventh-place finish in La Liga last season was their highest since 1974, and successfully navigating the qualifying rounds means that they have been rewarded with their first ever European campaign just two seasons after being promoted from Spain's second tier.

Having also guided his team to the semi-final of the Copa Del Rey last season for the first time since 1969, Diego Martinez is rapidly earning himself legendary status at the Andalusia-based side, with the weekend's 1-0 victory at Getafe taking them to third in the table.

Last week's 2-1 win at PSV, meanwhile, will be remembered by Granada fans for some time, especially after they recovered from a 1-0 deficit at half time. Mario Gotze's strike had given the Dutch side the lead heading into the break, before Jorge Molina and Darwin Machis earned their side a famous victory with their second-half strikes.

That unexpected win at the home of their toughest opponent in the group has given Granada a fantastic platform to build on and a favourable chance of progressing into the knockout stages, especially if they can overcome PAOK as expected on Thursday.

FC Krasnodar celebrate after beating PAOK in the Champions League playoff round on September 30, 2020© Reuters

PAOK suffered heartbreak in the Champions League qualifying rounds for the third successive season last month, losing 4-2 on aggregate to Russian side FC Krasnodar at the final stage, but they do at least have the consolation of a Europa League campaign.

PAOK fans will certainly be hoping for a better showing than in the 2018-19 season, though, when the Greek side lost five of their six matches to finish bottom of the group.

Abel Ferreira would have been hoping for a better start than last week's draw at home to Cypriot champions Omonia, with Thomas Murg's second-half equaliser cancelling out Eric Bautheac's early opener for the visitors.

The former Braga manager will certainly need a much better performance from his players, who have at least had the advantage of a free week in the Greek Super League, if they wish to gain a positive result at the in-form Granada.

Granada Europa League form: WWWW
Granada form (all competitions): LWDWWW

PAOK Europa League form: D
PAOK form (all competitions): LDLWDD


Team News

Granada manager Diego Martinez pictured in February 2020© Reuters

Martinez will be without Ramon Azeez and Neyder Lozano, with a muscle tear and tibia fracture respectively likely to keep them out for some time.

Former Tottenham Hotspur striker Roberto Soldado will also be unavailable for Granada after testing positive for coronavirus, with Martinez likely to reward the players who won in Eindhoven with another start.

Ferreira, meanwhile, will have been buoyed by the rare luxury of resting his players over the weekend, especially after a difficult run of form.

Murg is likely to keep his place in attack having scored in both of his last appearances, with former Napoli midfielder Omar El Kaddouri pushing for a start having returned from injury.

Granada possible starting lineup:
Silva; Foulquier, Sanchez, Vallejo, Neva; Gonalons, Herrera, Milla; Puertas, Molina, Machis

PAOK possible starting lineup:
Zivkovic; Ingason, Varela, Michailidis; Matos, Schwab, Esiti, Giannoulis; Murg, Zivkovic; Colak


SM words green background

We say: Granada 2-0 PAOK

With confidence flying after three wins in a row, we expect a disciplined Granada side to be too strong for PAOK despite with the Greek side potentially being fresher after a rare rest at the weekend.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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A general shot of a Premier League football ahead of the Premier League clash between Everton and West Ham United at Goodison Park on October 30, 2016
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1 38268467254286
2 38259467283984
3 38247785384779
4 38245953332077
5 3817111059382162
6 381710115050061
7 3815131060441658
8 381411135557-253
9 38137184765-1846
10 381113144642446
11 381111163748-1144
12 381111163658-2244
13 381013155053-343
14 38914154657-1141
15 38911182843-1538
16 38911183657-2138
17 38812183455-2136
18 38713183453-1934
19 38516173457-2331
20 38612202952-2330

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