The play-offs are set to start with a bang as the two main title threats, AEK and Panathinaikos, prepare for war in a key fixture that could hinder or enhance their championship odds.

The Athenian derby at “Agia Sophia” Stadium headlines the opening play-offs round of the Greek Super League on Monday morning (AEDT), with both sides hopeful of a huge result that could give them an edge over the other for the remainder of the season.

The pressure is slightly greater for Enosi as a loss would see them fall five points behind the Greens, who themselves will be eager to avoid defeat at all costs to keep ahead of their rivals.

The action continues with Aris hosting PAOK in another major derby and the stakes are high for both clubs for very different reasons.

The Double-headed eagle of the North needs the win to ensure they remain in contention for the title, currently sitting seven points adrift of the league leaders.

Aris, on the other hand, is locked in an epic struggle with Volos for fifth place which will be enough to earn a European qualification spot, and a victory over their bitter enemies would go a long way in helping them achieve their goal.

Olympiacos travels away to Volos in the final play-offs contest in a bid to keep firmly in line for the premiership.

The Piraeus giants, currently five points off top spot, need a strong start to push their own claim for the title, with a draw or defeat in this fixture likely to be a massive, missed opportunity for them to gain ground on either AEK or Panathinaikos.

Volos have their own European dreams to fight for and a win over the reigning champions would aid their cause tremendously.

Levadiakos goes away to play OFI on Sunday morning in the opening round of the play-outs as they ready themselves for a tough challenge to avoid relegation.

The current wooden spooners are hoping to do an immediate double over the Cretans, having beaten them 2-0 last week, to get themselves ahead of fellow relegation rivals Lamia and Ionikos.

Lamia is striving to topple Giannina at “Athanasios Diakos” ground while the Epirus team is fighting to end their ten-match winless run.

Ionikos challenges Atromitos away and, with the Nikaia outfit only one point ahead of last place, they will be desperate to secure a success and create some distance if other results go their way.

Asteras Tripolis faces Panetolikos at home in the last play-outs clash this weekend and, though both sides seem to be safe from relegation, the pride of finishing top of the rest will be enough motivation for them to endeavour for the victory.

Play-offs Rd 1 fixtures (AEDT)

Volos-Olympiacos: 02.30, Mon 20 Mar

Aris-PAOK: 04.00, Mon 20 Mar

AEK-Panathinaikos: 06.30, Mon 20 Mar

Play-outs Rd 1 fixtures (AEDT)

Asteras Tripolis-Panetolikos: 02.00, Sun 19 Mar

OFI-Levadiakos: 02.30, Sun 19 Mar

Atromitos-Ionikos: 04.30, Sun 19 Mar

Lamia-Giannina: 06.00, Sun 19 Mar