Facts & Figures: Levski Sofia vs. PAOK
Ahead of the first leg of PAOK’s UEFA Europa Conference League 2nd qualifying round tie with Levski Sofia, paokfc.gr puts you in the picture about the background to the match against the Bulgarians.
- This is PAOK’s 57th match for the qualifiers in European competitions and the second time that the club is involved in the Conference League, which is also in only its second year.
- Last year PAOK won through two qualifying rounds and entered the groups, eventually reaching the quarter-finals of the competition where they were eliminated by Marseille. Those 16 matches played were the most played in one season for PAOK and broke the 2010-11 mark of 12 games.
- In this qualifying history that started back in 2004 and the games against Maccabi Tel Aviv, PAOK have played a total of 56 matches in all competitions with a tally of 24 wins, 15 draws and 17 losses, with the goal count being 92 for and 63 against.
- PAOK has played seven seasons in the Champions League qualifiers. The first was in 2004-05 with Maccabi Tel Aviv, the second with Ajax in 2010-11, the third in 2013-14 in the third qualifying round with Metalist and then with Schalke, while in 2016-17 they again faced Ajax in the third qualifying round. In 2018-19 they started against Basel, whom they eliminated with two wins, then dumped Spartak Moscow out, before being eliminated by Benfica.
- In 2019-20 PAOK faced Ajax for the third time in the third qualifying rounds. In 2020-21, they faced Besiktas in a single match and eliminated them with a 3-1 victory, then got past Benfica thanks to a 2-1 victory, before being eliminated finally by Krasnodar with two defeats.
- In total, PAOK counts 22 matches with a tally of five wins, eight draws and nine losses. In fact, five of the seven ties were away from the Toumba. PAOK have scored 32 goals in those games and conceded 37, with Aleksandar Prijovic on four, Dimitris Pelkas on three and Christos Tzolis, Omar El Kaddouri, Vladan Ivic, Stefanos Athanasiadis, and Diego Biseswar on two goals each.
- PAOK have been in the qualifying phase of the Europa League nine times and counts five qualifications versus four eliminations. In the latter, in 2019-20 they were eliminated by Slovan Bratislava, after being initially excluded from the Champions League qualifiers in the games against Ajax.
- This was PAOK’s second consecutive shutout, after being eliminated in 2017-18 by Ostersunds having previously knocked out Olimpic Donetsk in the previous round. This came after three successive qualifications against Zibru (2014-15), Brondby (2015-16) and Dinamo Tbilisi (2016-17).
- In 2012-13 PAOK were eliminated by Rapid Vienna with a 2-1 win at the Toumba and a 3-0 defeat in Vienna. In between that PAOK succeeded against Karpanti (2011-12) and Fenerbahce (2010-11), while they were eliminated the first time the group system was changed by Heerenveen (2009-10) with a 1-1 draw at the Toumba and a 0-0 in Holland.
- In total, in these nine appearances in the qualifiers, PAOK have played 30 matches and have recorded 17 wins, seven draws and six losses. The goal count is 54-23 in favor of PAOK.
- In the Conference League, PAOK took part in the inaugural season of the competition last year and played in two qualifying rounds. In the two-legged ties against Bohemians, they lost in Ireland by a 2-1 scoreline but prevailed 2-0 in Thessaloniki. The matches with Rijeka followed, where a 1-1 home draw was followed by a 2-0 victory in Croatia that sent PAOK into the tournament’s group stage.
- PAOK has faced a team from Bulgaria before. It was Lokomotiv Plovdiv in the 1983–84 season in the first round of the UEFA Cup. The Double-headed Eagle prevailed 2-1 away from home in the first match thanks to goals scored by Christos Dimopoulos and Vassilis Georgopoulos, while in the 72nd minute Sadkov reduced the deficit with a penalty. In the second leg at home, Eranosian put Lokomotiv ahead in the 13th minute, but goals from Giorgos Kostikos (44′), Giorgos Skartados (68′) and Christos Dimopoulos (75′) made the final score 3-1 in favor of PAOK.
- In the second round of that tournament, PAOK faced Bayern Munich and after two 0-0 draws between the two teams, PAOK were eliminated 9-8 on penalties.