New (last?) test for Anastassiou
For those of us who were prepared, the last defeat of Panathinaikos (Panionios 1-0 away) was not really a surprise. The Greens have not recovered yet from the shocking home draw against Qabala (2-2) which left them out of Group Stage of the Europa League. The supporters constantly criticize the choices of coach Anastassiou and many believe he has nothing more to offer in the club. The officials stated their support to him and the roster (again) but a new average performance (not necessarily a defeat) is highly probable to bring a change at the bench of Panathinaikos. The next match against Levadiakos can be a chance for the players to prove they want their coach to stay but is this really the case? The preview and betting pick:
*The Chairman of Panathinaikos, Mr. Alafouzos, had a talk with the players recently. For one more time he stated his confidence in them and the staff. He also promised an additional €50.000 bonus regardless of their individual contracts in the case Panathinaikos will finish first…
As I said above, Panathinaikos is still in crisis. There are no excuses for the new poor performance at Nea Smyrni. The defeat from Panionios (1-0) was exactly what they deserved in a venue they left points for a third consecutive season. The number of chances (total attempts 11-8) depicts the sad reality of the Greens who lost points for the first time this season although the domestic titles are all they have left. For the record, Zeca missed a good chance to score at 75’ (bar) which tells me nothing as Panionios could have scored a second goal as well. The officials of the club denied the resignation of Anastassiou before the last sad match but I am not sure they will do it again in the case of a new negative result.
Injured: Kotsaris (GK/0), Sanchez (DEF/2), Wemmer (DEF/0), Essien (MID/0), Petrić (FWD/3/1 goal)
Levadiakos was not better than Iraklis 1908 in their last away battle but they stole three points because of their accuracy. The home team was in control, added pressure for the win (total attempts 18-5) but most of their efforts were long distance shots (11-2). The difficult schedule (Panathinaikos away, Asteras Tripolis at home) is not promising for more points but we should not forget the good defensive behavior of Matzios’ team in the previous games against Olympiacos (0-2 with two very late goals) and Atromitos (1-0 away). The poor morale of the Greens has given Levadiakos hope for something good in this match.
Betting Pick: The draw at halftime @ 2.20
Levadiakos has conceded only one goal in the first 45 minutes of all their matches until now. If the Greens will not be serious enough things can become stressful for them. I prefer to choose this option and avoid everything else. The low odds on the home win are way too risky when we cannot be sure if the Greens plan to get rid of Anastassiou…