The winner of this season’s Greek Super League will be one step closer to being decided, as leaders PAOK host second-placed Olympiakos on Sunday night.

PAOK currently are ahead six points clear at the top of the table and a victory would give them a comfortable nine-point advantage. An Olympiakos win would close the gap to three points and set up a massive finish to the season.

While this match is of huge importance in terms of the title race, it has always been a fixture that has had lots of action, especially in recent times.

In February 2018, the match at the Toumba was abandoned, after Olympiakos manager Oscar Garcia was struck by a paper roll prior to kick-off. As a result, Olympiakos were awarded a 3-0 victory and PAOK were deducted three points.

The 2015/16 Greek Cup semi-finals between these two teams were also marred by crowd violence. The first leg was called off late in the match as fans threw flares and fought with riot police, which occurred after PAOK were denied a penalty. Olympiakos were awarded a 3-0 victory as a result and the Greek Cup was temporarily cancelled.

The second leg did not occur, as PAOK owner Ivan Savvidis pulled his team out of the competition resulting in a 3-0 victory to Olympiakos.

The 2013/14 Greek Cup semi-final second leg between the two was another memorable edition of the rivalry. The match was delayed, due to the famous ‘ring of fire’ created by the PAOK fans prior to the start of the clash. In addition to this, fish was thrown at the Olympiakos bench.

There is no doubt that this matchup has produced several talking points over the years and this week’s edition looks set to be enormous.

With the result likely to have big ramifications on the outcome of this season’s Greek Super League, fans will need to be careful that there are no dramas. PAOK cannot afford a points deduction, as it would dampen their chances of winning their third league title, the last coming in the 1984/85 season.

PAOK are currently undefeated this season in the league, with 17 wins to their name and two draws. Olympiakos on the other hand have 14 wins, three draws and two losses. With only ten matches remaining this season, it is a crucial tie for both clubs.

An epic encounter awaits and those with access should not miss this match.

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Tim Sperliotis
tsperliotis@gmail.com