No one forgets the “ring of fire”

The most important match of Day 6 in Super League is the rivalry battle of Olympiacos against PAOK at Karaiskakis. The Champions have not forgotten what happened last season in the rematch for the Cup Semi-Finals (PAOK won 1-0). The supporters of PAOK (with the tolerance of the officials) terrorized the players of Olympiacos with a pyro show, “the ring of fire”. A lot of bad things took place that day (inside and outside the field) and I sincerely hope the fanatic supporters of Olympiacos will not retaliate tonight. In this case, this match may not end. The previews and betting picks for the remaining matches of Wednesday:

Analysis: Atromitos – Veria

Atromitos comes from a home win against Skoda Xanthi (2-0) following their previous one against Asteras Tripolis (4-3) at Peristeri. Coach Sa Pinto was pleased to see the team concentrated in defense for the first time since he took over. They kept a clean sheet after 4 consecutive games where they conceded a total of 8 goals. Xanthi tried (attempts 7-10) but Atromitos was more efficient in both offense and defense. Umbides was the MVP this time with his 2 goals (21’, 50’) and Napoleoni came really close to score again (14’, bar). The re-scheduling of Day 6 now allows Atromitos to have a third home game in a row and their goal, of course, is a new win.

Banned: –

Injured: Cennamo (GK/9), Tavlaridis (DEF/8), Kouros (DEF/2), Theologou (DEF/0)

Other: Tatos (MID/7) was out in the last match for a disciplinary misconduct. He apologized but he is not expected to be included at the roster or the starting lineup after so many average performances.

Veria was defeated in the away match against Panathinaikos (2-1) at Apostolos Nikolaidis. The home team had an attempt at the bar (18’) before the first goal (26’, penalty kick) which left Granero’s team with a man down as Malón Aragonés was sent-off. The second goal of the Greens at 47’ (Berg) gave them a huge winning advantage. Veria got back in the match with a goal by Kaltsas (68’) but the total attempts by the two sides (13-5) show the Greens were came closer to a new goal. Defense remains an issue for Granero as Veria has conceded 11 goals in the last 5 matches.

Banned: Malón Aragonés (DEF/8)

Injured: Catalá (DEF/3), Mandjeck (MID/0)

Doubtful: Georgiadis (FWD/9)

Betting Pick: Both to score @ 2.00

Veria has five consecutive Goal/Goals and all of them had final scores of Over 2.5 goals. Atromitos is more reliable at home and my guess is they are capable of scoring at least twice today. They may kept a clean sheet in the last match but Veria is dangerous enough (16 goals, fourth most dangerous offense) to help us win this bet. Hopefully they will not playing with a man down this time.

The option of Over 2.5 goals @ 1.90 is a bit lower than I expected but it is very probable and lot better than the low odds of the home win.

Analysis: PAS Giannina – Levadiakos

Giannina expanded their undefeated streak with a new home win, this time against OFI (3-0). The score practically says it all and proves Giannina have their way of getting the results they want against weaker or equal opponents, especially at home. Chavez locked the win with his two goals in the first half (30’, 45’ penalty kick) and became the MVP of that match. Coach Petrakis is very pleased with the recent performances of his team (3W-2D-0L, goals 8-0) and the 7 goals they scored in their last two games. This will be the third home match in a row and if they keep up playing like this they can get a new win. Full roster.

Banned: –

Injured: –

Levadiakos is fighting to get wins that will get them out of the relegation zone but they keep failing to get them, even at home where they are more confident. Their last home draw against Panetolikos (0-0) came to verify this face. Their players were very stressed for one more time and they failed to score despite their efforts (attempts 12-3, bar at 76’). The good news is they have been undefeated in the last 4 matches (1W-3D-0L, goals 1-0) but their only win was against Panionios with a very late goal at 89’. Coach Pantelidis is under a lot of pressure and rumors want him to be fired in the case of a new negative result. The team needs at least one win in the next two matches against Giannina (away) and OFI (away).

Banned: –

Injured: Pinter (DEF/5)

Betting Pick: Giannina to win @ 1.80

The odds on the home win are good and I cannot see why Giannina should lose any points here. They are in superb form, they have a great coach and their confidence is boosted. I believe Levadiakos will risk more today and they will probably leave Zossimades with their fifth consecutive defeat.

Analysis: Olympiacos – PAOK

*The previous game between the two clubs was a shame for Greek soccer. The officials and the players of Olympiacos were terrorized before, during and after the match. The substitutes and staff could not sit on the bench because they found it full of anchovies (their rivals use this nickname because Olympiacos is located at port Piraeus). During the match, a racist threw a banana at Salino, he sent it back, and the rest is history. The two sides came close to turn the game into a boxing match. Even players who were teammates in the National Team, like Maniatis (Olympiacos) and Katsouranis (PAOK) got into a fight that day. Check out the two videos below in case you think I exaggerate…

*Olympiacos is always stronger at home, however, PAOK is the only club with three away wins at Piraeus since season 2003-04 when the new Karaiskakis opened. No other Greek club has achieved this.

Olympiacos had a good training in the last away match against AOK Kerkyra (0-4). The final score shows the differences between the two clubs in the field. The home team was not interested to waste any energy in a match that would be lost anyway and the secondary lineup Michel used sent a message of their intensions to PAOK. The experienced coach gave time to rest to many key players that day as he was obviously thinking of the upcoming battle that can bring Olympiacos back to the first place.

Banned: –

Injured: Giannoulis (DEF/2/1 assist), Durmaz (MID/7/1 goal)

PAOK got a very stressful win in the last home match against Panthrakikos (3-2). Their early goal at 7’ was supposed to make everything easier for them but their weaker opponent was very improved after the change at their bench. They scored twice (32’, 55’) to take the lead but PAOK added pressure immediately. Three minutes (62’, 65’) were enough even with their rotated lineup to score the goals they needed to get the win. Papadopoulos scored his first goal with the team in Super League and he also had an attempt at the bar at 13’. Coach Anastassiadis stated Olympiacos is a favorite for the win because they play at home and they have a better roster. He also stated that their absences (especially key player Mak) and their fatigue makes their task for a positive result very difficult.

Banned: –

Injured: Tzavelas (DEF/4), Maduro (DEF/3), Mak (MID/8/5 goals/3 assists)

Betting Pick: Both to score @ 1.90

Olympiacos and PAOK are the best teams in Super League until now and I do not believe anyone can doubt this fact. The Champions are stronger but they are not stable and this is why they have already lost so many points. They want this match badly however PAOK has the best offense in Super League. If Olympiacos wants the win, they must score at least two goals to get it.

Odds like 1.50-1.55 for the home win do not worth any attention. On the contrary, the bookies have turned the Draw @ 4.00 into a value bet I cannot possibly ignore! PAOK is a lot more reliable in defense this season, especially in away matches (3W-0D-0L, goals 7-0). This is practically the best opponent Olympiacos has faced at Karaiskakis. The previous rivalry battle against Panathinaikos (unfair win 1-0) was a sign they have a lot of stress in special matches like this one.

I also advise you to make your own research about the results of Olympiacos with Michel at the bench against good teams like PAOK, Panathinaikos, Asteras Tripolis and Atromitos. The only easy win was against PAOK last season (4-0) but their opponent was ridiculously weak then and they have nothing to do with the serious and concentrated team of coach Anastassiadis. No matter what happens, the draw is the BEST bet we can find in this match.


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