Probably the last chance of Theodoridis
Kalloni is occupying one of the two relegation places with a poor record of 1W-3D-5L. Coach Thalis Theodoridis is under a lot of pressure as the only good game of his team was on Day 5 when they demolished Panetolikos (5-1). Many believed that game was a new beginning but four match days later Kalloni has lost three games (0W-1D-3L, goals 1-5) having scored only once. To make things worse, their schedule becomes a lot more difficult until the end of the first round. The easiest opponent they will face is Xanthi who happens to have the third best defense in Super League. The preview and betting pick:
Analysis: Kalloni – Skoda Xanthi
*Referee: Aretopoulos Alexandros. This season: 3 games (2 home wins, 0 draw, 1 away win) / Total goals: 8 / Total penalties: 2.
Kalloni fought hard in the last away defeat against Platanias (2-1) and they came very close to a point. They scored first at 5’ but the home team answered twelve minutes later (17’). Platanias was in control for the rest of the match (total attempts 16-8) and they also had an attempt at the bar at 32’ to take the lead. One way or another, Kalloni was holding on to the point until 80’ when the referee made a huge mistake by sending off goalkeeper Hogg. Platanias took advantage of the extra player and the frustration of the opponent and scored the winning goal at 84’. The officials of Kalloni issued a press release about the performance of the referee but it could not change the fact of the new defeat. Theodoridis must find a way to get three points today because the next matches will be much more difficult. A new failure will probably be his end at the bench as Kalloni is in need of a shock before it is too late. There are five absences reported.
Banned: Hogg (GK/9)
Injured: Ellacopoulos (MID/5/1 goal/1 assist), Gioukaris (MID/1), Were Ooko (MID/0), Marković (FWD/2)
Xanthi won the last home match against Panetolikos (3-1) but their overall performance cannot explain the final score. Răzvan Lucescu followed his usual defensive tactic and the problems in offense were still there. This explains the low number of attempts by the two sides (4-6!!!). Panetolikos scored first at 9’, Xanthi answered at 16’ (foul kick) and the rest of the match was quite boring until the AMAZING foul kick of Papasterianos (71’) which allowed Xanthi to take the lead. A second yellow card at Villafáñez (78’), gave Xanthi the advantage of an extra man making their task for the win a lot easier. The third goal came at 93’ (penalty kick) when everything was over. Lucescu gained some more time but he needs to find more solutions in offense. Xanthi scored three goals last week but none of them came from a properly executed attack. Three players are not available for the match at Mytilene.
Injured: Demenikos (GK/0), Karipidis (DEF/5), Vassilakakis (MID/8/1 assist)
Betting Pick: The draw at halftime @ 2.00
Kalloni has not scored during the first half in 4 out of 5 of their home matches. Furthermore, the halftime score 0-0 came true in 4 out of 5 of Xanthi’s away matches. My conclusion is that the draw at halftime is probably the best way to deal with this game.
So far, we have seen worse defenses than Xanthi getting a positive result at Mytilene. The only reason I will not risk on the win of Xanthi is their tendency to draws (1W-4D-0L). The odds are too low for the risk involved. The previous away draw against another problematic club like Panthrakikos (0-0) was a perfect example of how easily they can settle with a point. If the odds were around 2.80+ I would give it a try but not for anything below that.