PAOK manager Razvan Lucescu hopes the Thessaloniki side can extend their unbeaten run against Chelsea in tomorrow’s Europa League Group L clash.
PAOK’s record is two wins and two draws from matches with Arsenal in 1997 and Tottenham in 2011. Chelsea have an identical record against Greek sides.
“We have to manage every game in any competition,” Lucescu told a media conference, according to PAOK’s Twitter feed.
“We will give everything to win the next game. Chelsea is one of the best teams in the world. We will be prepared and we have huge motivation for this game.”
There are some familiar faces among PAOK players : striker Chuba Akpom joined PAOK from Arsenal last summer and has played alongside Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud when both were Gunners while Belgian midfielder Omar El Kaddouri played at Napoli under Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri and alongside Blues midfielder Jorginho.
Striker Aleksandar Prijovic has returned to training following a hamstring problem and could be included by the Greek side, who have no other injury concerns, while Sarri left Eden Hazard, David Luiz and Mateo Kovacic in London to rest.
PAOK have an ambitious target in a group which also includes BATE Borisov of Belarus and Vidi of Hungary.
Ukraine midfielder Yevhen Shakhov said: “Our target is to pass from the group stage. We understand the quality of Chelsea, but we have to remain concentrated to our game.”