PAOK failed to score at OPAP ARENA and suffered defeat by AEK for the ninth matchday of the Super League championship.
This was the fifth game this year that Dikefalos failed to find the net and third in the league. The “black and white” have so far played 18 matches in all competitions and have not celebrated a goal against Beitar (in 0-0) and Hajduk (out 0-0) for the Conference League qualifiers and against OFI (out 1 -0), Ari (within 0-0) and now with AEK for the domestic competitions.
He scores from the middle and behind
Razvan Lucescu’s side are scoring almost two goals in every game but the onus of scoring has fallen mainly on their midfield and defence. The Two-Headed Man has scored a total of 33 goals in all competitions this season, 27 of which have come from players playing from the middle and back.
Defensive players have breached the opponent’s goal four times. Three goals have been scored by Konstantinos Koulierakis and one goal by Adelino Vieirinia. The midfielders of Dikefalo have scored 23 goals and the protagonist is Andrija Zivkovic who has scored eight goals, followed by Constantelias with four, Stefan Schwab with three and Thomas Murg, Tyson, Magomed Ozdoev and Kirill Despodov with two.
Brandon and then who?
Brandon Thomas makes the difference in the attack, who has sent the ball into the net four times and is the team’s second scorer along with Yiannis Constantelia. Stefanos Tzimas has scored one in the 120 minutes he has played, as has Ali Samata who has had more chances.
Surely Razvan Lucescu expects a lot more from the latter as he has not contributed to the effectiveness of the team’s attacking line so far. In 15 appearances he has scored just one goal and created another!
The Tanzanian striker, as can be seen in the heat map, is a strong forward and has the ability to carry the ball, play both inside and outside the area and make his presence felt by creating problems for opposition defenders.
His numbers do not justify the image of his map as in 372 minutes of participation in the league matches he has created only six (final). A number small enough for any striker.
In the eight games he has played in the Super League, apart from the one goal he scored against Volos and the one assist he shared with PAS Ioannina, Samata has made eight passes, won 10 fouls and committed nine. The remarkable thing is his number of errors as he counts 23. In total he has won 58% of his duels, half in the air (50%) and 64% on grass while his percentage is high in passes (75%) and successful dribbles (84%).
His year is similar to that of Cholak
A year before celebrating the double, PAOK gave the Romanian coach a valuable piece of paper. Aleksandar Prijovic walked through the doors of Toumba in January 2017 and from his first performances showed that he would be the man to send the ball into the net at every opportunity.
Since the Serbian striker left Thessaloniki, seven goals have gone through the top of the Dikefalo attack. Karol Swinderski and Michal Kremncik won the impressions while Nelson Oliveira was unlucky with “good morning”. Brandon Thomas continues to perform well. Ali Samata recalls the performances of Chuba Akpom in his first “black and white” steps as the English striker in his first 15 games had scored two goals and those of Antonio Tsolak who had scored just one goal.
The forwards’ first 15 appearances in the post-Prijović era
Prijovic 7 goals 1239 minutes
Akpom 2 goals 523 minutes
Swinderski 6 goals 2 assists 600 minutes
Colak 1 goal 690 minutes
Krmenchik 6 goals 1 assist 889 minutes
Oliveira 1 goal 1 assist 333 minutes (9 matches-1the
season) / 6 goals 1 assist (15 matches – 2the season)
Brandon 4 goals 468
Samata 1 goal 1 assist 804 minutes