After the short – and unsuccessful for the Greeks – break for the Euro 2020 qualifiers, Super League One picks up right from where it left off, with four teams being in the lead having won two of their opening matches.
One of them was the two-headed eagle of the North, PAOK, who are in no mood to celebrate however, as they are still licking their wounds from the early disqualification from all European competitions. This failure means they will be expected to try twice as hard in their domestic obligations, starting from Saturday’s game against Atromitos in Peristeri.
The home side have lost a significant amount of their force from last season after the departure of many players (Koulouris, Bruno, Hatziisaias most notably) which means that anything but the three points will be considered a colossal failure on PAOK’s part.
Defender Fernando Varela’s presence in the encounter is highly doubtful as he is still dealing with an injury, yet Portuguese manager Abel Ferreira should be able to count on the support of Chuba Akpom, Douglas Augusto and Omar El Kaddouri, who have all returned to training.
At Kleanthis Vikelidis, the two greatest disappointments of this early part of the season will lock horns. Aris will host Panathinaikos, with both sides aiming for a win that will boost their morale.
The yellows are still busy with their hunt for a manager after the departure of Savvas Pantelidis and despite the many conversations Angelos Charisteas has had with some high profile Spanish personalities such as Guti and Fernando Hierro, a successor has not been found yet.
On the other side, spirits in the Panathinaikos camp are extremely low, especially after their disheartening performance against OFI, and an away win at one of the traditionally most difficult grounds of the Greek league could be the medicine they need.
Meanwhile, in Piraeus, there will be a clash between two teams who are currently at the top of the ladder. Olympiacos will welcome newly promoted Volos at Karaiskakis, with the great game against Tottenham Hotspur for the first round of the Champions League group stage just a few days away.
The visitors, who have started their campaign in great fashion, will hope to capitalise on this fact and walk away with a point or three.
Ruben Semedo remains injured and will not participate in Saturday’s game (he’s also highly doubtful against the Spurs), while the condition of Miguel Angel Guerrero is unknown as coach Pedro Martins seems to have taken a preference to Youssef El Arabi.
In other games, AEK host Lamia (with the Enosi asking for a moment of silence to be held before the match in honour the fallen during the Asia Minor Catastrophe) and table-leaders Xanthi welcome Asteras Tripolis.
SUPER LEAGUE ONE, DAY THREE FIXTURES
Saturday 14 September
7.00 pm Atromitos – PAOK
7.15 pm OFI – Panetolikos
9.30 pm Olympiacos – Volos
Sunday 15 September
7.00 pm Xanthi – Asteras Tripolis
7.15 pm Panionios – AEL
9.00 pm Aris – Panathinaikos
9.30 pm AEK – Lamia