A win at all cost
The last match of Super League for 2014 is held today with Panathinaikos looking for three more points in the home match against AOK Kerkyra in order to keep up with PAOK and Olympiacos who won. Personally, I do not think the Greens are ready to be involved in a title fight yet but this does not mean the win is not important for them. The preview and betting pick:
Analysis: Panathinaikos – AOK Kerkyra
Panathinaikos comes from a midweek humiliating defeat from Skoda Xanthi (4-2 away). Coach Anastassiou was disappointed with the poor defensive behavior of his players who could have conceded more goals (Xanthi had 2 more attempts at the bar). Furthermore they wasted a chance to get closer to PAOK, unlike Olympiacos who won. Needless to say they will be after the win against AOK Kerkyra and their home stats so far (5W-0D-1L, goals 12-4) show they can get it. There are three important problems reported.
Absences: Schildenfeld (DEF/12/1 assist), González Maroto (also known as Nano, MID/14/4 assists), Berg (FWD/5/2 goals/1 assist)
AOK Kerkyra was surprised by watching Ergotelis (38’) taking the lead in the last home match. The players of Grigoriou remained calm, they added a lot of pressure during the second half where they scored three goals (52’, 63’ and 67’) and gave a quick end to any hopes of the opponent for points. The next match against Panathinaikos at Apostolos Nikolaidis is expected to be difficult but the recent performances against Atromitos (1-0 at home), PAOK (2-1 defeat away) and Ergotelis show AOK Kerkyra will not go down without a fight. There is one important absence reported.
Banned: Andreopoulos (MID/11)
Betting Pick: Panathinaikos (-1.5) to win @ 1.85
Anastassiou usually finds a way to wake up his players and return to wins immediately. As I said, I do not think the Greens have the quality to keep up with PAOK and Olympiacos but they do need this win before the break for a different reason. They just cannot afford to spend the next two weeks with the negative energy of two consecutive defeats. Their opponent may be dangerous in offense but they have defensive weaknesses. The scores I have in mind are 2-0 and 3-1.