Europa League obligations for Asteras
When I first saw the schedule of Asteras Tripolis for season 2015-16 I thought they were capable of getting at least 4 more points than the 8 (2W-2D-2L, goals 7-7) they got until now. Coach Verghetis is working on the weaknesses of his team after the important changes which took place last summer while the obligations for the Europa League keep pushing. The preview and betting picks:
Analysis: Asteras Tripolis – Xanthi
Asteras Tripolis failed to get the home win against Platanias (1-1) and it has become obvious they must try harder to keep up with the rest of the Play Off candidates. For one more time, they were in control, they had more chances (total attempts 10-7) but they looked unable to do what was necessary to score and get the win. For the record they had an attempt stopped at the bar at 70’ but I cannot really say they deserved the three points especially since they were facing a weaker team with totally different goals for the season. There are two problems reported for coach Verghetis.
Injured: Košický (GK/4), Goian (DEF/5)
Xanthi came really close to a new draw, this time against Panathinaikos (home defeat 0-1). Their good defensive behavior caused many problems to the Greens who were relieved by a late goal at 83’ (Rasmus Thelander, DEF). Coach Răzvan Lucescu stated a draw would be a fair outcome for that match and how can he be wrong? The two teams had a total of 9 attempts to score (4-5) after 90 minutes! Xanthi also had a friendly match against Iraklis 1908 during the break and the result was (guess what) a new draw (0-0). There are two problems reported.
Banned: Soltani (FWD/5/1 goal)
Injured: Demenikos (GK/0), Karypidis (DEF/5)
Betting Pick: The handicap win of Xanthi (+0.5) @ 2.10
Xanthi has been reliable in defense this season and they give a hard time to any opponent they face. In fact, if they were more dangerous in offense they could easily be after the Play Offs. I believe this will be a very difficult match for Asteras Tripolis and I cannot forget how they are usually influenced before every Europa League match. This is exactly why I also intend to place a bet on the win of Xanthi @ 5.00.
By the way, with the exception of the home defeat against Olympiacos (HT: 0-1, FT: 1-3), Xanthi had a draw at halftime in the rest of their games (all 0-0). The draw at halftime @ 2.00 is another interesting option here.