After last week’s two eternal rivalries that saw no winners emerge, the Greek championship moves on with its fifth round, as more teams are catching up with the top of the ladder.
One of them is AEK, with the team enjoying a run of successful results ever since coach Nikos Kostenoglou came on board, changing up the atmosphere in the locker rooms for the better.
The Yellow and Blacks have been on a three win streak, but Sunday’s trial will be their toughest yet, as they prepare to host current champions and cup holders PAOK in the derby between the two-headed eagles of the South and North, which promises to be a real nail-biter.
The visiting team is definitely not in the same form they were at the same time last season, with their defence appearing to be their main weakness, having allowed their opponents score in every single game of the season thus far. This was the case last Sunday, when they came close to losing for the first time in over a year. But thanks to a Josip Misic goal in the ninth minute of injury time, their unbeaten run was extended to an impressive 39 games.
AEK will be hoping to put a stop to that however, as they edge closer to the top of the ladder, with only a single point separating them from both their next opponents and Olympiacos, who currently share the lead.
The team from Piraeus will also be keeping their eyes towards the Olympic Stadium, as a draw or a PAOK loss, combined with a win of their own against Lamia, would mean an early advantage.
Fans were left highly disappointed by the players’ efforts against Panathinaikos during the recent derby and Pedro Martins and his men will hope to make a fresh start against Sotiris Antoniou’s team who still remain without a win in the league.
The Portuguese manager is expected to make changes to his line-up this time, with the game against Crvena Zvezda for day two of the Champions league looming over the horizon.
In other games, early surprises of the league Xanthi and Volos will face each other to see who can remain close to the top.
ROUND FIVE FIXTURES
Saturday 28 September
5.15 pm Aris – AEL
7.30 pm Olympiacos – Lamia
8.00 pm Atromitos – Panetolikos
Sunday 29 September
3.00 pm OFI – Asteras Tripolis
5.00 pm Xanthi – Volos
5.15 pm Panionios – Panathinaikos
2.30 pm PAOK – AEK