The first round of the Playoffs is completed. So far only two teams, Psachna and Niki Volou, managed to get three wins after a total of seven matches. Kassiopi got only the second win but it was enough to return to the first place proving the difference the bonus points can make. The way things have turned out the next two match days will be critical for the four teams that are lower in the standings. We will soon find out which teams have the strength to do what it takes to promote.
The previews and betting picks for Day 8:
IRAKLIS PSACHNON vs. CHANIA
Iraklis Psachnon came very close to take the lead in the standings in the last home match against Fostiras (1-1). The goal of Boumale at 50’ was about to give them the win they wanted so badly but Lyras saved the day for Fostiras with a late equalizer at 90’. It was the first time Psachna did not have luck on their side in the Playoffs but their undefeated streak (3W-4D-0L, goals 7-4) still holds. The players of Mr. Ghrafas will be after a new home win today that may even bring them to the first place of the standings if the rest of the results will help.
Injured: Chimodzi (MID/32/5 goals), Ohandza (FWD/15/1 goal)
Chania got the first away point in the Playoffs after the draw against Olympiakos Volou (0-0). The home team was in control but very stressed at the same time. Chania took advantage of it by focusing on defense and they came very close to steal the win with two great chances at 94’. Coach Seropyan will have to deal with two absences for the next difficult away match at Psachna.
Banned: Vassilogiannis (MID 29/1 goal), Maragoudakis (FWD/15/5 goals)
Betting Pick: The win of Psachna @ 1.75
The home team has an excellent chance to expand the undefeated streak and get closer to promotion. I do not really think they can end the Playoffs undefeated but I seriously doubt they will allow Chania to stop them at this moment. Their opponent is not as tough when playing away (0W-1D-3L in the Playoffs, 5W-5D-3L in regular season).
AIGINIAKOS vs. NIKI VOLOU
Aiginiakos did not deserve anything in the last away match against Kassiopi (2-0). In fact they could lose by more than two goals and it is obvious there is something wrong with them lately. This was the fourth consecutive match they failed to score and their fifth away from wins (0W-3D-2L, goals 1-5). Mr. Nikolaidis is troubled with the fatigue his players are showing recently and the home match against Niki Volou is a must win situation that will allow the team to get back in promotion battle for good. The good news is there are no problems or absences reported.
Niki Volou deserved more than the defeat in the last away match against Iraklis (1-0). They were as dangerous as their opponent and they had good chances to score (one of them was stopped by the goalpost) before the goal of Siatravanis at 60’. Personally I would find the draw a fairer result for that match. Their undefeated streak (3W-2D-0L) ended and now Mr. Vosniadis and his players must look for points against the team that shocked them in the opening match. I remind you that Niki Volou took an early lead by 2-0 that day but they ended up with nothing (2-3). There are two important absences reported.
Banned: Akassou (MID/26/1 goal)
Injured: Gotovos (DEF/22/1 goal)
Betting Pick: Both to score @ 2.00
Both teams come from defeats and I expect them to be highly motivated for the win. In their first match in the Playoffs they both scored giving us a total of five goals. I do not know if they can repeat the same score but the least I expect is that they will both score again to give us a result of Over 2.5 goals @ 2.20
OLYMPIACOS VOLOU vs. KASSIOPI
Olympiacos Volou comes from a home draw against Chania (0-0) which was considered a negative result. This was the fifth time in the last six matches they failed to score and their third consecutive draw. Mr. Pantelis is still in search of his first win at the bench of the team after four matches (0W-3D-1L). A win against Kassiopi will bring the team back in promotion places because they have also won the match of the first round (1-2). Fewer absences are reported in this match but all of them are important.
Injured: Katsiaros (DEF/23/1 goal), Kostoulas (DEF/17/1 goal), Rokas (MID/25), Kapetanos (MID/23/6 goals).
Other: Dinopapas (FWD/26/4 goals) has left the club.
Kassiopi had a very good performance in the home win against Aiginiakos (2-0) and they could have scored more goals. The morale of the team was boosted as they immediately returned to the first place of the standings thanks to their bonus points. They will be after the win against Olympiakos Volou not only to revenge the home defeat of the first match but also push one of their major competitors in promotion battle lower in the standings. Mr. Grigoriou will have one absence for this match.
Injured: Koutsopoulos (DEF/28/1 goal)
Betting Pick: Both to score @ 2.00
The home team has reached a dead end. They must win today to gain back some of their lost confidence. They can still hope even if they lose this match but imagine how difficult it will be for the coach and the players if this happens. I expect to see both sides looking for the win until the last minute and for this reason I doubt they will concentrate on defense. A result of Over 2.5 goals @ 2.20 seems to be on the way. If I had to choose a side, I would go with the win of Kerkyra @ 4.00 which is a value bet from every aspect.
FOSTIRAS vs. IRAKLIS 1908
Fostiras got very lucky in the away draw (1-1) against Iraklis Psachnon. I am not saying they deserved to lose but they did steal the point with their late equalizer at 90’ which kept them alive in promotion battle. Imagine how different everything would be today, especially in terms of morale if they had lost that match. They have now expanded their undefeated streak to five matches (2W-3D-0L) and a win today will allow them to get very close in a top 3 placement. Coach Mathijssen will have to deal with three absences for this match.
Banned: Tassoulis (DEF/30/2 goals)
Injured: Gianniotis (GK/10), Smyrlis (FWD/14/4 goals)
Iraklis got a lucky win in the last home match against Niki Volou (1-0). Their opponent had good chances to score before the winning goal of the home side at 60’ (one of them was stopped by the bar). My overall impression is that a draw would be a fairer result. The win expanded the undefeated streak of Iraklis (1W-3D-0L) but they are still 4pts away from the top three places. They will need some more important wins especially to get closer especially in away matches like this one. Their stats so far are not promising (0W-1D-2L in the Playoffs, 5W-2D-6L in regular season).
Banned: Papasterianos (DEF/24), Matsoukas (FWD/21), Zahora (FWD/29/9 goals)
Injured: Taianan (MID/16/3 goals)
Betting Pick: The win of Fostiras (DNB) @ 1.80
I doubt those two teams will settle with a draw today. Both of them will be after a win at all cost to get closer to promotion. The overall home stats of Fostiras (2W-1D-0L in the Playoffs, 7W-5D-1L in Regular season) compared with the away stats of Iraklis that I mentioned earlier tell me that the home team will not lose today. In fact I find the win of Fostiras @ 2.50 highly probable. This is a huge chance for them and they must not waste it.