Having already dived into the deep part of the season, the first early conclusions can be made for all teams around Europe. The same can be said for the Greek clubs.

Even though they spent most of their summer within the uncertainty of the dispute between the organising committee of the Super League and the sport ministry, leaving them up in the air for when the championship would actually start, all matters were eventually sorted and kick-off proceeded as scheduled.

Due to the poor position of Greek football among its peers within the UEFA ratings, a lot of the high-ranked teams were forced to begin their season early, due to European occupation. Earliest among them were Atromitos and Asteras Tripolis, who started their games in late July.

However, both sides were knocked out, the former by Belarus team Dinamo Brest (5-4 on agg.) and the latter by Hibernian (4-3 on agg.).

Not long afterwards, PAOK, Olympiacos and Greek champions AEK jumped into the fray, with the ‘black-and-yellows’ advancing to the group stage of the Champions League, while the other two representing Greece in the Europa League.

The championship started rather unceremoniously, with all four major teams (including Panathinaikos) starting their season with wins. Aris, who had just returned to the Super League after a long period of relegation, also showed signs of being strong contenders, if not for the title, then definitely for one of the top places.

All teams continued their winning streaks all the way through day three of the league, however the performances of Panathinaikos and Atromitos were the most eye-catching early on.

Even the most hopeful among the fans of the ‘greens’ couldn’t possibly foresee such a great start to the season, as the directors had gotten rid of most big contracts and filled the team with players from the youth squad, putting Giorgos Donis in charge.

This stress-free, zero-expectation environment turned out to work in their favour, as Donis had the ability to work unhindered and with a group of players that put the team above their individual selves.

Meanwhile, at Atromitos, it seemed like they had an ‘as far as we can go’ mentality, with everyone just assuming that things wouldn’t last and eventually the team would simply run out of gas and return to the usual fourth-fifth places where it has been for the previous years.

The first great game of the season came on day four, with PAOK hosting AEK. This was the first time that the team from Thessaloniki demonstrated their true title intentions this season, as they left Marinos Ouzounidis’ men in the dust as told by the 2-0 result, however it wouldn’t be the last.

On day five, PAOK escaped from one of the most difficult stadiums of the league, as an own goal by Jagos Vukovic was enough to ensure that they escaped unscathed from the Karaiskakis against Olympiacos.

The home team wasted many opportunities, which seems to be the theme of the season for Pedro Martins’ men, as the lack of a player that can turn the chances into goals has been painfully obvious on more than one occasion.

The stars seem to be aligning for PAOK to win the championship this season however, as on day six AEK and Olympiacos fought to a draw. In the meantime, the dream continued for Atromitos who was in second place, just two points behind PAOK.
Day seven brought the first shock of the season as everyone expected PAOK to stumble in the local derby against Aris, but instead it was Olympiacos who dropped the points in Crete against OFI, falling victim to a 1-0 defeat, despite their many wasted opportunities in the second half.

Day eight saw Panathinaikos’ unbeaten run come to an end at the hands of a more mature PAOK, who played decisively and didn’t allow Donis’ squad to maintain hopes of leaving Toumba with a positive result.

AEK are falling behind in the title run, mainly due to the many changes that occurred during the transfer period. Photo: AAP via AP/Thanassis Stavrakis

AEK showed signs of an awakening after a 4-0 thrashing of Aris and the dream at Atromitos continued, as they claimed a last minute draw at Panionios. The two teams that are currently top placed in the league and no one had expected, PAOK and Atromitos, bumped fists on day nine.

The game was action packed, with Atromitos not giving way to Razvan Lucescu’s men and managing to hold on to a 1-1 draw. This was the end of PAOK’s string of wins that ran till eight games, one of the best winning streaks in the club’s history.
At the same time, Panathinaikos were unlucky to end the game goalless against AEK, having created more chances in the second half, and a class strike by Hassan was enough to ensure Olympiacos walk away with the three points from Kleanthis Vikelidis versus Aris.

PAOK returned to form on day 10, with a comfortable 2-1 win against Panetolikos, as the eternal derby of Olympiacos versus Panathinaikos ended with a thrilling 1-1 draw thanks to an injury time equaliser by Cisse.
However, what is possibly the shock of the season so far came from the Olympic Stadium, as Atromitos managed to walk away with the three points against the champions AEK, in a 0-2 victory that showed they have what it takes to be true title-contenders.

In a first image of the teams so far, it is obvious that PAOK have moved up even further from where they left off last season and they have accumulated their previous experiences to their favour.

The squad from last season didn’t change much and the coach Razvan Lucescu remains at his position, which are all key ingredients for a team to be solid and move all the way to win the league.

On the other hand, the serious changes that were made during summer seem to have affected champions AEK in a negative way, as Marinos Ouzounidis is trying to fill in the shoes of the great Manolo Jimenez yet his task is proven to be quite difficult, having to deal with the losses of Vranjes, Johansson, Araujo and Christodoulopoulos.

Meanwhile, the complete makeover that chairman Vangelis Marinakis is attempting at Olympiacos demands a lot of time that the fans and board of directors are well known for their lack of.

Pedro Martins got all the transfers he wanted during the summer season and then some (with the highlight being the return of Yaya Toure), however so many new players cannot form a team in just a few months.

Also, the lack of a goal scorer, as mentioned above, is evident, with Miguel Angel Guerrero and Ahmed Mahgoub Hassan not being able to complete the job in a satisfying manner (which is why there are rumours of a possible Mitroglou return to the port of Pireaus).

The most pleasant surprises to the season however are by far Atromitos and Panathinaikos. Damir Canadi’s men are living their own version of the ‘Leicester City dream’ and there’s just no telling where the end of the season may find them.
Although, with games at Toumba and the Karaiskakis still ahead of them, it is possible they may run out of steam.
Panathinaikos on the other hand is a team full of players looking to gain experiences and come back even stronger next season.

This may not be the time where they rise to fame and glory, but having the proper guidance of their coach, they know that what they’re learning now will be valuable for the future.

With Olympiacos and AEK not far behind and Atromitos still being just a rock stone away, this version of the Greek Super league promises to have quite a few strong moments. The best is still yet to come.