Platanias is still looking for the first win
There was no time left to comment on the three Saturday matches. Considering their final results, you did not really need my help as all of them can be characterized as logical. We have six more matches ahead and five of them will be held today. Do not forget that all teams have obligations for the Greek Cup on Wednesday 30/10 and Thursday 31/10 and this is expected to cause changes in their lineups.
To the Sunday previews and betting picks:
ARIS – PLATANIAS
Aris escaped with a second consecutive away win, this time against Veria (0-1). The home team was in control (11 attempts on goal, on more at the goalpost) but the players of Aris defended massively and a goal at 61’ by Udogi was enough to give them the win. There have been a lot of complains for the referee of that match who punished Aris with 7 yellow and 3 red cards. Pulido (DEF/7 app), Economopoulos (MID/5 app) and Aganzo (FWD/3/1 goal) are all banned and considered important absences. The good news for coach Milinković is that there are no more absences reported. Higher attendance should be taken for granted because of the two away wins which helped Aris climb in the 13 th place of the standings.
Platanias took the lead in the first half of the home match against Olympiakos (2’ Torres) but the players collapsed after the own goal by Fernandez at 66’. Olympiakos scored three more times (68’, 73’, 87’) and turned the match into a nightmare for the home side. Coach Ouzounidis is under pressure as the team has not won yet in the new season (0W-5D-3L) even in matches they deserved it. Cerrajeria, Ghiakoumakis and Nazlidis are out because of injuries while Platanias will have three consecutive away matches as they will face Aris today, Apollon on Wednesday (re-match for the Cup, first match 1-1) and PAS Giannina next Saturday.
Betting Pick: Both teams to score @ 2.20
The players of Platanias need to solve their confidence issues. They are more dangerous than their place in the standings shows but they need to start getting some wins really fast! The players of Aris respond very well with Mr. Milinković but I cannot ignore their important absences. I expect to see both teams scoring today but I believe that it is better to risk on the option of Over 2.5 goals @ 2.60 instead of looking for a winner.
PANIONIOS – APOLLON SMYRNIS
One goal at 37’ by Dounis was enough to give Panionios the away win against PAS Giannina. The home team had 16 attempts on goal but 12 of them were long distance shots. The players of Panionios had an overall better performance despite their fewer attempts while they also had an attempt stopped at the goalpost at 93’. Coach Pantelis has no important problems or absences and the team is expected to concentrate on the win as they will have an easy away re-match on Wednesday against Apollon Kalamarias (Football League, first match at Nea Smyrni 3-1).
Apollon Smyrnis showed signs of improvement in the first match with Mr. Tennes at the bench. The own goal by Bojović gave them the lead against Panetolikos but their opponents (who are also considered a stronger team) added pressure and score the equalizer at 73’ leaving both sides happy with the point of the draw. Zuela left the club for personal reasons, while Tsiligiris (FWD/5) Blažek (FWD/4) are unavailable (not ready yet). Apollon Smyrnis will also have a difficult home re-match against Platanias on Wednesday with the score of the first match (1-1) giving both sides hopes to continue in the competition.
Betting Pick: Panionios to win @ 2.00
Both teams have unreliable defenses but I consider Panionios a better team than Apollon who has the worst defense of the league. The newcomers show signs of improvement but the best thing they can do is score at Nea Smyrni. The option of both teams to score @ 2.10 looks fine while I do expect a result of Over 2.5 goals @ 2.30.
PANTHRAKIKOS – PAOK
Panthrakikos deserved the win in the last away match against Panathinaikos and they got it (1-2) proving the coach of the Greens right for his statements before kickoff (Mr. Anastassiou had stated that Panthrakikos would be the most difficult opponent they had faced until that moment). Mr. Mantzios has every reason to feel proud for his players who run an undefeated streak of six matches (3W-3D). The next home match against PAOK is expected to be very difficult not only because of the quality of the opponent but also because of the negative history Panthrakikos has against the team from Thessaloniki. Makrydimitris (DEF/2) and Merino (MID/1) are the only absent because of injuries.
PAOK won the last home match against Asteras Tripolis (2-0) with two goals by Vitor. They were in control for most of the match and deserved the win while we should have seen more goals after the many attempts on goal by both sides (17 for PAOK, 12 for Asteras). PAOK also had an attempt at the goalpost with Katsouranis at 52’. In the midweek home match against Maccabi Haifa for the Europa League, the players of Mr. Stevens had a poor start allowing the opponent to take the lead by two goals (13’, 21’). They managed to score twice before halftime (35’, 39’) and scored the winning goal at 66’ making the experienced coach state that this was the best performance of his team so far. Lino is injured while Kitsiou was left out to rest.
Betting Pick: Panthrakikos (+0.5) to win @ 2.25
Despite the negative history the home team holds against PAOK, this seems like the perfect chance for a positive result. PAOK is a better team but they often get in trouble in away matches. If you are not afraid of higher odds, the win of Panthrakikos is offered by many bookies @ 5.50-6.00 and it is a huge odd we cannot ignore.
VERIA – GIANNINA
Veria was in control in the last home match against Aris, they had a total of 11 attempts on goal, one attempt at the goalpost but they lost after receiving a goal at 61’ by Udogi. The first match of Mr. Stoica at the bench was not followed by a win and they have been away from wins for six matches. The three consecutive home defeats have affected the morale and the confidence of the players who must start getting some points at home. Orestes Junior Alves (DEF/6/1 goal) and Ostojic (MID/6) are injured and they will miss this match. Veria also has a midweek home challenge for the Cup against Iraklis Psachnon having lost the first match by 3-1.
Giannina come from their first home defeat for this season against Panionios (0-1). The performance of the team was below average and they failed to cause any real problems to Panionios with their 12 long shots in a total of 16 attempts on goal. Panionios managed to score at 37’ and they also had an attempt stopped at the bar at 93’. Chávez (MID/7/2 goals) is injured and he will be the only absence for this match. Giannina also have the away re-match for the Cup on Wednesday against Aiginiakos (Football League, first match at Zossimades 0-0).
Betting Pick: The draw at halftime @ 1.90
What can I say… Veria is a tough team, especially at home, but I cannot understand why the bookies lowered this match from 2.35 to 1.85 for the home win. Both teams are coming from defeats and I expect them to be extremely cautious during the first half. Despite the change of the coach for Veria, I cannot understand how a team with five consecutive defeats can be offered at so low odds. This is exactly why I will also pick the Draw @ 3.50.
OLYMPIAKOS – OFI
Olympiakos is coming from a very good away performance against Benfica for the Champions League where the match ended as a draw (1-1) but they deserved the win. Before that match the Champions had punished Platanias with 1-4, punishing them for getting the lead during the first half. Coach Michel is expected to rotate the lineup as the Champions have too many consecutive matches for the League, the Cup and the Champions League. There is no stress for the midweek away re-match against Fokikos (Football League) as Olympiakos has demolished them by 5-1 at Georgios Karaiskakis. There are no important absences reported.
OFI has not won yet for the new season although they have been defeated only two times in 8 matches (0W-6D-2L). The change at the bench did not bring the first win against Ergotelis (1-1) where OFI was the first team to receive a goal at 28’ but they did manage to answer before halftime (41’). The two teams had the same number of attempts on goal (6) with OFI having one more attempt at the bar at 62’ by Koutsianikoulis. Mr. Sa Pinto will probably have to wait a little for his first win as the match against the Champions at Karaiskakis is usually lost anyway. Moniakis (DEF/1), Verón (MID/6) and Perogamvrakis (FWD/8 /2 goals) were left out because of injuries. In the midweek re-match for the Cup, OFI will face Kallithea at home having good chances to qualify after the away win (0-1) in the first match.
Betting Pick: The draw (Olympiakos -2 goals) @ 4.00
Over the last years the two clubs have good relations and for this reason I seriously doubt that Olympiakos will be interested in humiliating OFI. A win with 2-0 or 3-1 for Olympiakos should be enough against a team who is tough anyway. This is the only value bet I could find.