Udinese v PAOK Saloniki 20:05 Thurs
Udinese play hosts to PAOK Solonika this Thursday as odds on favourites with William Hill, as both sides hope to advance in this season’s Europa League. The Greek visitors have a difficult task on their hands, with Udinese dropping points at the Stadio Friulli on just occasions this campaign.
Udinese are without a victory in two matches but the Serie A side will be looking to get back to winning ways this week when they host PAOK in Udine.
The Bianconeri are going through a rough patch of late however and their only home defeat of the season came over the weekend when they succumbed to league leading AC Milan, giving PAOK a shred of hope for their away trip.
The Dikefalos haven’t looked quite as impressive when playing away from home this campaign, managing only three away victories this campaign, but they did finish top of Group A and coach Laszlo Boloni will be looking to take something back to Greece for the away leg.
One statistic they will be holding onto however is their Europa League away win at White Hart Lane when they ran out as 2-1 victors over Tottenham Hotspur.
Udinese will have to make do without stars such as Mauricio Isla and Antonio di Natale who are both sidelined through injury, as Udinese’s manager Francesco Guidolin hopes to build up an impressive goal tally that they can take to Greece for the reverse fixture later this month.
PAOK have only recorded one loss in their last ten outings and have chosen the right time to hit a string of good form and the Greek Premier’s third placed side are going to need all the help they can get if they are to hold back high-flying Udinese, but their preparations have been dealt a blow with the loss of midfielder Vladan Ivic who is out with a muscle spasm.
Much will depend on Antonio Floro Flores, who comes in up front to replace the injury Di Natale, and his form could be the key to Udinese’ progress in the competition, with the top goalscorer absent with a broken toe.