Looking for the best value in seven battles
I was forced to skip Day 3 of Football League last week but it did not really matter. After all, it is too soon to have any confidence in this league. Do not forget it is essential to watch closely the first five match days before deciding which teams we can follow. The previews and betting picks for Day 4:
Analysis: Group 1 (South)
*Free team this week: Fostiras
AEK continues get all the attention in Group 1 (South) but there are other, more interesting battles available this week.
Acharnaikos – AEK
*Attention: Neutral venue. Acharnaikos will use the Ground of Rizoupoli “Georgios Camaras” because AEK’s popularity is expected to bring high attendance numbers.
Acharnaikos got a very important away win last week against Fostiras (0-2) which was their first for this season. They did not have midweek obligations for the Greek Cup. The players of Vazakas do not have the dynamics to get in the way of AEK and this explains why the bookmakers offer them in so high odds. This match is just an excellent opportunity of higher revenues for them.
AEK won the away battle against Chania with two goals in the second half (75’, 86’) and continued to lead the standings in Group 1. They also got their first win in the Greek Cup against Iraklis Psachnon (3-1) after a good performance which showed they are beginning to find their form. Coach Dellas is pleased to see his team having 6W-1D-0L in all competitions and be in the right path for the goals they have set; promotion and the best possible placement in the Cup.
Betting Pick: The win of AEK (-1) @ 1.95
It is up to AEK to win any team of their Group with two goals. Their morale is great and I cannot see why they should not get a new professional win.
Episkopi – Iraklis Psachnon
*Attention: Neutral Venue. Episkopi will use Stadium Ghallos because their home ground is not ready yet.
*This season for the Cup: Iraklis Psachnon – Episkopi 1-1, Episkopi – Iraklis Psachnon 0-2.
The last official match of Episkopi was on 12/10/14 (Day 1) with the home draw against Acharnaikos (1-1). They were the free team in Day 2 and their home match against Panachaiki on Day 3 was postponed because of their home ground (artificial grass). They will be using Stadium Ghallos until further notice. They had no obligations for the Greek Cup as they were left out in the First Round from Iraklis Psachnon (1-1 away, 0-2 at home). They are still a mystery at this moment.
Iraklis Psachnon comes from a home draw against Alimos (0-0) which was considered a negative result. The players of Koutsis added a lot of pressure to their opponents but they were unable to turn their chances into goals. Their defeat from AEK in the Cup (3-1) was more or less expected since the morale of team was influenced after four players were left out for disciplinary misconduct and three more because of injuries.
Betting Pick: The win of Episkopi @ 2.20
Episkopi had time to rest and work on their weaknesses. Their two Cup matches against Iraklis Psachnon were not successful but their opponents are not calm at this point after their recent disciplinary problems. It is a perfect chance for Anyfantakis and his players to get their first win and the odds worth the risk.
AOT Alimos – Panaigialeios
AOT Alimos comes from the third consecutive draw, this time away against Iraklis Psachnon (0-0) which was considered a positive result. The players of Ofrydopoulos look more interested in not losing but they will need wins to stay away from relegation. They had no Cup obligations since they were left out from Iraklis 1908 in the First Round (defeat 1-0 away, 2-1 win at home).
Panaigialeios deserved more in the home match against AEK in Day 1 (defeat 0-1) and they proved it with the two consecutive wins that followed against Paniliakos (0-2 away) and Kallithea (1-0 at home). In their last match against Kallithea their goal at 19’ was enough to give them the three points. They were better than their opponent throughout the match, even after they were left with a man down at 75’. In fact they lost three more chances to expand the score until the final whistle. Panaigialeios did not have obligations for the Cup because they were left out from Ermionida (0-1 away win, 1-2 home defeat).
Betting pick: The win of Panaigialeios @ 2.30
Alimos has failed to win Paniliakos (1-1) and Kallithea (1-1 away), two teams that Panaigialeios won (2-0 away and 1-0 at home respectively). My guess is that they will concentrate on not losing again but the morale of their opponent is superb and they also have more experience than the newcomers of Football League.
Paniliakos – Chania
*The new coach of Paniliakos, Ilias Fyntanis, has a lot of experience in Football League. He has mainly connected his name with Panachaiki as he is always the first man called to replace any coach leaving the team.
Paniliakos comes from an away defeat against Apollon Smyrnis (4-2) a match in which the players were under the temporary guidance of Franco Perrili. The home team was winning by 2-0 (5’, 31’) at halftime and scored two more goals at 50’ and 74’. Paniliakos was unable to keep up and all they did was to score the last goal at 88’. The financial problems of the club still hold but this did not stop their officials from finding a new coach, Ilias Fyntanis.
Chania were defeated in the last home match against AEK (0-2) by conceding two goals in the second half (75’, 86’). The draw in the midweek match for the Greek Cup against Olympiakos Volou (0-0 at home) was the last match of Soulis Papadopoulos at the bench. He was held responsible for the difficulties of the team in scoring (1 goal in 4 matches). Kyriakos Grigorakis will be in charge until the officials find a new coach.
Betting Pick: Over 2.5 goals @ 1.90
Chania have a stronger roster and they can exploit the defensive weaknesses of Paniliakos. The home team has too many problems at this point and the poor morale of the unpaid players cannot change just with the arrival of a new coach. The odds on the away win are extremely low for a Football League match and I prefer to risk in this option. The way I see it there are two scenarios. The first is that Paniliakos will fight without success and they will repeat a high score like last week. The second is that Chania will get an emphatic win anyway.
Analysis: Group 2 (North)
*Free team this week: Zakynthos
There are three matches available today in Group 2 (North) and the bookmakers look confused as there are no favorites in their offers.
Gazoros Serres – Lamia
Gazoros comes from a home draw against Fokikos (1-1). They were in control throughout the match, they scored at 64’ but they received the equalizer only three minutes later (67’). Their efforts for the winning goal were unsuccessful and they lost the most important chance of the match at 93’ when Marinou missed a penalty kick! In a midweek match for the Greek Cup, Gazoros was defeated from Iraklis 1908 (1-2) which ended any hopes to continue in this tournament.
Lamia comes from a very important home win against Larissa (1-0) which brought them at the third place of the standings. It was a very intense match but the players of Tennes were more determined than their opponents. Larissa was left with a man down at 53’ allowing Lamia to add more pressure and score at 74’. Lamia did not have midweek obligations for the Cup since they were left out in the First Round from Iraklis 1908 (defeat 1-0 away, win 2-1 at home).
Betting Pick: The win of Lamia (Draw no bet) @ 2.00
Gazoros is usually stronger at home but Lamia had more time to rest and their morale is superb after the win over Larissa. Their performances against the two common opponents they have faced until now (Fokikos and Iraklis 1908) make me believe that if we will see a winner here, it will be Lamia.
Fokikos – Anagennisi Karditsas
Fokikos escaped with a draw in the last away match against Gazoros (1-1) which could be characterized as a lucky result. The reason is the home team lost good chances for more goals with the most important being a missed penalty kick at 93’! Goalkeeper Çekrezi became the man of the match with his saves. Fokikos had no Cup obligations since they were unlucky to run into AEK in the First Round (two defeats, 4-0 away, 0-1 at home).
Karditsa was the free team last week and their last match was the away defeat from Aiginiakos (1-0). They could have got more in that match as the home team was left with a man down at 55’ and they missed a penalty kick at 77’ (Boudouris sent the ball out). Karditsa also received a red card at 88’ and one minute later Aiginiakos scored with a shot to get a stressful win. The players of Theodosiadis did not have a midweek match because they were left out of the Cup in the First Round (Gazoros, 1-1 at home and 0-0 away).
Betting Pick: The draw @ 3.00
The two teams are still in search of their first win this season. They have failed to get it in their four official matches in all competitions (0W-2D-2L for Fokikos and 0W-3D-1L for Karditsa). When two teams have a poor start like this, they concentrate on defense and wait patiently for the win. Karditsa looks a bit stronger in theory but Pierikos is more reliable at home. My guess is it will be hard to see a winner here.
Agrotikos Asteras – Olympiakos Volou
Agrotikos Asteras is the only team in Group 2 without a point. They were a bit unlucky in their away defeat from Pierikos (1-0) as the only goal of the match was scored with a penalty kick (49’). The players of Dilberis missed a good chance five minutes later (bar) and they also complained for a penalty kick that was not awarded to them in the added time. They did not have a midweek match as they were left out of the Cup in the First Round (Aiginiakos 0-0 away, 1-1 at home). Coach Dilberis is troubled with the scoring difficulties of his team as they have not scored yet in their three matches in Football League.
Olympiakos Volou got a very stressful win against Apollon 1926 last week (3-2). They lost their early lead (7’) by conceding two goals (27’, 56’) but they turned the match around with two more goals at 57’ and 59’. The red card at Barbas at 63’ left Olympiakos Volou with a man down but they held on to their win until the final whistle. The players of Pantelis also had a midweek Cup match against Chania where they got a draw (0-0) which was considered a positive result.
Betting Pick: Both to score @ 2.00
Both teams are desperate for points but they happen to have the worst defenses of Group 2 (with Karditsa). I cannot trust any of them for a win but I do believe they will receive at least one more goal again.