PAOK FC – match report vs Besiktas 25/08/2020

Bayern München were recently crowned winners of the Champions League 2019/2020, but the qualifications for the 2020/2021 edition had already started. On 25th of August, Greek side PAOK FC met Turkish side Besiktas in a duel for the next qualifying round.

PAOK played in a 4-4-2 formation in defence and 3-4-3 in attack against their Turkish opponents with a very attack minded midfield four. They were aggressive going forward and were able to beat Besiktas 3-1 on the night, which saw the Greek side go through to the next round.

Ratings

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Dimitrios Giannoulis

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Greek
  • Age: 24
  • Date of birth: 17/10/1995
  • Current club: PAOK
  • Career: Vataniakos, PAOK, Pierikos (L), PAOK, PAE Veria (L), PAOK, Anorthosis (L), PAOK, Atromitos Athen (L)
  • Position: Left Back
  • Secondary position: Left Wing Back
  • Preferred foot: Left

Dimitrios Giannoulis is an interesting player to watch for fans in England as he is linked with Newcastle United. The attacking left back played as a left midfielder in the 3-4-3 system of PAOK where he interacted a lot with striker Tzolis.

He is strong, agile and quick. He has excellent technique and shows good qualities with the ball at his feet. His defensive awareness is good as he knows when to press the opponent and when to be patient, and stay in formation.

His first thought when he gets the ball is to think of creating or constructing an attack. He either does that through making a run down the line and putting a cross into the box, or he tries to play a through ball to one of the three attackers going forward. His passing is direct and is always meant to progress the attack.

Sometimes he’s too eager to attack and therefore loses his defensive positioning, which leads to a defence that’s not fully prepared and because of this, Besiktas could form a threat on the counter attack.

Rating – A2

Giannoulis is a very good left midfielder and possibly better as a left-back in PAOK’s team. His potential could see him go to one of the top 5 leagues in Europe, he has got everything to do that. But he needs to improve on how to read the game and when to attack/defend.

Christos Tzolis

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Greek
  • Age: 18
  • Date of birth: 30/01/2002
  • Current club: PAOK
  • Career: PAOK
  • Position: Left wing
  • Secondary position: Central Forward
  • Preferred foot: Right

At 18 years Tzolis is a huge talent for PAOK and he showed that in this game with two goals against Besiktas. He is very quick and remarkably strong, which means that he has no difficulties in the 1v1’s or take-ons with the Turkish defence. He played closely with Giannoulis and their partnership was successful, especially for the first goal.

He can shoot with both feet from different angles and showed awareness for the other attacking players, as he wasn’t afraid to pass the ball in order to create a goalscoring threat. His passing style is very direct and he just wants the most of each situation going forward.

His eagerness towards goal is big and in this particular game he scored two goals, illustrating his awareness in and around the box. His willingness to attack the crosses from the flanks and running behind the defence, made him a big threat for the Turkish side.

Rating – A2

Tzolis is a very big talent and he could go on to do great things for PAOK and Greece. I can definitely see him at a big club in a top 5 league, but I need to follow his progress in the next year to be sure.

Giannis Michailidis

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Greek
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 18/02/2000
  • Current club: PAOK
  • Career: PAOK
  • Position: Left Back
  • Secondary position: Centre Back
  • Preferred foot: Left

Giannis Michailidis played as a left back in the game against Besiktas, but can also play as a centre back. He was strong and quick on his feet, as he illustrated in this particular game in the 1v1’s against the Turkish attackers. He was patient, aware of his defensive positioning and didn’t dive into tackles or reckless actions.

He was aggressive in the duels, both on the ground and in the air. He was, however, not brilliant in anticipating the state of play in transition and he’s not very agile – which led to problems if the defence wasn’t able to help him.

While PAOK played attacking football with their 3-4-3, this is not something Michailidis does well. He is a centre back from origin and he doesn’t drive forward in the attack. He passes the ball to the midfielders who move forward in order to assists the attackers, but the left back didn’t take risks in his attacking movement or passing.

Rating – B1

Michailidis is a very good defender on this level, but you could see he didn’t play on his natural position. His defending is very decent, but in order to fully assist in the attacking side of the game he needs to be less conservative in passing.

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