Things can become difficult for Sa Pinto
For those of you who may not remember, the arrival of Sa Pinto at the bench of Atromitos was combined with the home win over Olympiacos (1-0). The important win against the Champions of Greece mage everyone in the club optimistic but the one point in the following three matches (PAOK, Ergotelis and Panathinaikos) was not accepted very well. Atromitos needs only the win tonight against Asteras Tripolis to gain some confidence. Any other result may bring changes at their bench for the second time this season. The preview and betting pick:
Analysis: Atromitos – Asteras Tripolis
*This season (club friendly on 13/08/14): Atromitos – Asteras Tripolis 3-2
*This the third time Sidiropoulos (referee) will be present in a match between Atromitos and Asteras Tripolis. I strongly advise you to take a look at his history over the last two seasons.
Atromitos was defeated in the last away match against Panathinaikos (2-0). For one more time, they had an average performance and they were unable to cause any real problems with their weak offense (attempts 14-5). Sa Pinto stated that the own goal of Lazaridis at 27′ influenced the confidence of his team. The second goal came at 85′ by Karelis to lock the win for the Greens. The two recent negative results against Ergotelis for the Cup (1-1 at home) and Panathinaikos have started rumors about the future of Sa Pinto at the team. I must say though that Atromitos is not fond of changes, especially of the coach, during the season.
Injured: Kouros (DEF/2), Brito (MID/2)
Asteras Tripolis comes from a draw against Olympiacos (0-0) after a match that will only be remembered for the “strange” behavior of referee Spathas and his assistants. His decision to send off Mazza was totally wrong (red card because he tripped) while the assistants wrongfully stopped the forwards of the home team six times! The cameras prove they were wrong but it was really interesting that in most cases their position could not justify their “confusion”. The officials of the club published a press release last Monday asking for the officials of the Hellenic Football Federation to take action. In the midweek match that followed for the Europa League, Asteras was defeated by Tottenham (1-2) paying their lack of confidence in the first half where they conceded both goals (36′ penalty kick, 42′). They improved a lot during the second half but it was already too late to turn the match around against such a strong opponent. They had an attempt at the bar and many chances to score sooner but their only goal came with a penalty kick at 90′ (Barrales).
Banned: Mazza (DEF/8/2 goals/1 assist)
Injured: Goian (DEF/4), Tie Bi (DEF/3), Kourbelis (MID/3)
Betting Pick: Atromitos to win @ 2.00
Those two teams look equal to my eyes over the last two seasons. Sa Pinto needs to solve the confidence issues Atromitos as soon as possible and today he has a great chance for a win against a worthy opponent that will change their poor morale.
The reason I do not trust Asteras Tripolis tonight is the bad move of their officials to complain through a press release last week. The last time they did that was on season 2012-13 after the Cup Final against Olympiacos (yes, again). Similar incidents had taken place that day followed by statements which disoriented the players and influenced the performances of the team in the Play Offs. Asteras Tripolis was less enthusiastic in the last home match against Tottenham and to my surprise they did not have that amazing energy that got them 4/4 wins in Europa League. I am afraid they are disoriented again and this is why I will take my chances with the home side.