Panathinaikos is tested at Toumba
All the matches of Day 7 look quite interesting with the exception of the one of Olympiakos where we do have a very strong favorite. The match that stands out is the battle at Toumba where PAOK will test the strength of Panathinaikos after their win over Asteras Tripolis and their overall improved performances.
Let’s take a look at today’s previews and betting picks:
OLYMPIAKOS – VERIA
Panionios defended massively but Olympiakos had no problem getting a “professional” win with 0-2 at Nea Smyrni with the goals of Weiss (61’) and Saviola (75’) while they also had and attempt stopped by the goalpost during the first half with Olaitan. The Champions come from the midweek away triumph over Anderlecht (0-3) for the Champions League. The players of Olympiakos were more accurate than their opponents while Mitroglou became the first Greek player to score a hat trick in this competition. Torres and Machado are still injured while rotation in the lineup should be taken for granted as Mr. Michel will need to rest some of his key players.
The players of Veria tried hard for the win in their last home match against Ergotelis having 15 attempts on goal versus 4 by their opponents. Ergotelis took advantage of a penalty kick at 51 and stole the win. The third consecutive defeat was the end of Mr. Caanen at the bench of the team and Mr. Ghaitanos is called up again, like in the away match against Panathinaikos (1-1), as a temporary replacement. The new coach, Mr. Ştefan Stoica, was announced in the official website of the club and he will start after the match against Olympiakos.
Betting Pick: NO BET
Olympiakos is a strong favorite but the bookies have gone too far. The offered odds for a -1 handicap win of Olympiakos or the option of Over 2.5 goals are way too low. Has anyone considered the rotation in the lineup of the Champions and the fact that this match is held at 16:00?
PANTHRAKIKOS – OFI CRETE
Note: The coach of OFI Mr. Dermitzakis is also a former coach of Panthrakikos (seasons 2010 and 2012-13).
Panthrakikos took the lead in the score in the last away match against Platanias (49’ Cases) but the home team added pressure for the equalizer and they finally made it at 87’ (Nazlidis). The two teams also had an attempt stopped by the goalpost (26’ Zequinha, 69’ Faisca) with Platanias having more attempts on goal (13-5). Mr. Mantzios will have to deal with the absences of Christou (D/6) who is banned while Makridimitris (D/2), Sarakatsanos (D/1) and Igor De Soouza (F/6/4 goals, top scorer) are injured.
OFI comes from the home draw against PAOK (1-1) after a very good match. The home team took the lead at 15’ (Perogamvrakis) but PAOK showed up improved during the second half with Lino having a shot at the goalpost at 54’ and Necid scoring the equalizer at 74’. In the remaining time both teams looked passionately for the win but the score did not change until the final whistle. Mr. Dermitzakis will not have two players available, Zoro (D/3) and Galletti (M/4), who are injured.
Betting Pick: The win of OFI (+0.5) @ 1.60
OFI is desperate for a positive result because Aris won yesterday. Mr. Dermitzakis knows his former team very well and Panthrakikos will have absences both in defense and offense. If you are willing to risk a bit more, the win of OFI @ 3.50 is a good bet.
LEVADIAKOS – KALLONI
Levadiakos took the lead in the last away match against Apollon Smyrnis (33’) but they did not have the same will for the win with their opponents and they lost by 4-2. The players and the coach made the chairman of the team furious and a new negative result will probably be the end of Mr. Lemonis at the bench of the team. The only absence for the next match is Macheras (M/5) who is injured.
Kalloni comes from a home defeat against Atromitos at OAKA (0-1). The players of Mr. Matzourakis were under a lot of pressure by their opponents who had two attempts at the goalposts (11’, 49’) and a total of thirteen attempts on goal for a higher score. Atromitos scored at 62’ after a penalty kick (Papadopoulos) with Kalloni showing signs of improvement and losing two good chances for the equalizer (77’, 89’). Chorianopoulos (D/6) is banned for the next match while Jonan (M/3) is injured.
Betting Pick: The win of Kalloni (+0.5) @ 1.75
I believe this match can be quite similar to the last match of Levadiakos. There is too much pressure on the team and the coach for the win and the newcomers can take advantage of this. If Kalloni managed to win Apollon Smyrnis (1-3) in the same venue where Levadiakos received 4 goals, then maybe we should consider the win of Kalloni @ 4.00 as a value bet. The option of Over 2.5 goals @ 2.70 can be quite interesting as well.
SKODA XANTHI – APOLLON SMYRNIS
Xanthi received a goal early against in the away match against PAS Giannina at Zossimades (6’ Korovessis) and things became even more difficult after the red card at Vallas in the added time of the first half. The players did not quit, they fought hard and managed to score the equalizer at 73’ (Ranos). The immediate answer by the home side at 77’ (Kolovetsios) practically ended the match. Vallas (D/6) is banned and he will be the only absence for Mr. Maurer in his first home match since he took over the team.
The players of Apollon tried hard for the win in the last home match against Levadiakos. Their opponent took the lead (33’) and the home team responded quickly with two goals (41’, 49’). Levadiakos scored the equalizer (61’) but Farinola, who had scored three minutes after entering the match at 46’, scored again at 64’. The rest of the match was crazy with both sides having great chances for more goals. Barkoglou scored the last and most important goal for Apollon at 94’, killing the hopes of the opponent for a positive result. The next away match against Skoda Xanthi will not be easy but the good news is there are no problems or absences reported for coach Vosniadis.
Betting Pick: Skoda Xanthi to win @ 1.80
Xanthi was not bad in the last match at Zossimades and I find their response after the red card very positive. It is about time for the new coach to celebrate his first win in his first home match at the bench against the second worse defense of the league.
PAOK – PANATHINAIKOS
Note: This match is considered a rivalry battle
PAOK did not start well in the away match against OFI and they received an early goal at 15’ by Perogamvrakis. They improved during the second half where they had an attempt at the goalpost (54’ Lino) and they managed to score the equalizer at 74’ with Necid. The rest of the match was crazy with both teams looking for the win and wasting important chances to score. The players of Mr. Stevens had a midweek away match against AZ Alkmaar for the Europa League where they escaped with a draw after a late goal at 93’. Their overall performance was positive, they lost good chances and they deserved the positive result. Garcia (MID/1) is still absent because of injury.
Panathinaikos comes from the best performance of the last two years. After an average first half against Asteras Tripolis, the Greens were very improved during the second. They managed to score at 59’ (Berg) but Asteras answered immediately with De Plasis (60’). The players of Mr. Anastassiou did not lose their faith on the win, they added pressure and they managed to score again with Figueroa at 77’ three minutes after he entered the match. The next match against PAOK at Toumba will be a big test for the team. There are no problems or absences reported.
Betting Pick: PAOK to win @ 1.80
Panathinaikos is in good condition lately but they traditionally have difficulties when they face PAOK away. The Green are in a transition period over the last two years while PAOK has the best team (and confidence) of their recent history. The home team will win; end of story.