Three match days until Christmas
In case you are wondering why there is not a match scheduled for Monday this week you should take a look at the calendar of Super League. Three match days will be held in only nine days (14-15/12, 18-19/12 and 21-23/12) until the Christmas break to complete the first round. My overall impression is that we are about to see some unexpected results because there are only a few teams with a roster capable of rotation.
To the previews and betting picks of Day 15:
PLATANIAS vs. SKODA XANTHI
Platanias had a better performance than Levadiakos in the last away match (2-0) but they wasted their many chances to score after the early goal they received at 12’. The total attempts on goal (10 vs. 17) prove that statistically Platanias deserved a goal statistically especially if we consider that 10 of them came from shots inside the box. The second goal for Levadiakos came at 77’ in a point that an equalizer seemed just a matter of time for the players of Mr. Anastopoulos. Cerrajeria (DEF/2), Nazlidis (MID/7/4 goals) and Moral (MID/9) will not be available because of injuries.
Xanthi comes from an emphatic home win over Veria (3-0) but the score does not depict the difficulties they had in that match. Their early goal (1’- 15 seconds) gave them the lead but Veria was dangerous and they were adding pressure for the equalizer. A penalty kick at 76’ made all the difference for the home side, Veria collapsed and the result was a new goal at 84’ for Xanthi. Coach Maurer was pleased with the win but not with the performance of his players, especially during the first half. Josemi (DEF/8), Komessidis (DEF/1) and Suárez (MID/5) while Marin (MID/12) was left out at the last minute because of a personal problem.
Betting Pick: Over 2.5 goals @ 2.30
Mr. Anastopoulos is still looking for a win against a good opponent and Xanthi is a good candidate for it. Platanias has only lost from Olympiakos at Perivolia while Xanthi is not as strong when playing away (1W-2D-4L, goals 8-14). They are very dangerous in offense and I do expect them to score but the home side is too motivated for the win. Another option is the win of Platanias @ 2.10 (I was expecting better offers from the bookies) while I am still considering to place the HT/FT bet Xanthi / Platanias @ 34.00 in case they repeat what they did last season.
GIANNINA vs. ERGOTELIS
Giannina come from an away defeat against Panthrakikos (2-0) in a match where they were forced to play with a man down since 29’ (red card at Lila). They also received a new red card at 64’ (Keita, second yellow) and if we consider their disadvantages combined with the 20 attempts on goal from the home side (vs. 5 of their own) the final score was more than descent. There have been complains by the club officials for the referee of that match as they believe he is responsible for their third consecutive defeat. Mr. Tsiolis is not feeling safe at the bench after the last results and the match over the newcomers of Ergotelis has become a must win situation for him and his players. Keita (MID/9) and Lila (MID/14) are banned while Michail (DEF/12) is injured.
Ergotelis had a better performance than Aris in their last home match but they failed to win despite their three goals (3-3). All goals were scored during the last 30 minutes where the home team took the lead (62’, 65’) but Tatos entered the match for Aris at 68’ to turn things around. His two goals (69’, 80’) and one assist to Damarlis (71’) almost gave his team the win but a late goal by Badimanga at 95’ saved the day for the home side. Coach Petrakis was disappointed by the performance of his players after their second goal and now his team is forced to look for points in the away match against Giannina. Anastassakos (FWD/12/2 goals) is injured and he will miss this match.
Betting Pick: Both teams to score @ 2.40
Both teams will be after the win for their own reasons. I cannot trust any of the two but I do expect they will manage to score at least once today. Giannina are stronger when playing at home (5W-0D-2L, goals 8-5) but Ergotelis is not a team you can underestimate when playing away (1W-4D-2L, goals 5-8). The option of Over 2.5 goals @ 2.45 is also very interesting and a lot safer than looking for a winner.
PANATHINAIKOS vs. ATROMITOS
Panathinaikos comes for an emphatic away win against Kalloni (0-4) which was one of their best performances this season. Coach Anastassiou was pleased with his players as they managed to score twice before halftime (29’, 43’) and kept scoring during the second half (67’, 92’). The next match against Atromitos is considered very important because a win will allow the Greens to reach the third place for the first time in the last two seasons. Bajrami (MID/5) and Apostolopoulos (FWD/1) were not included in the roster because of injuries. Higher attendance is expected not only because of the importance of the match but also because of the last good performances of the team.
Atromitos got a new easy home win, this time against OFI (3-0). The team from Peristeri scored twice before half time (17’, 45+1) giving an end to any hopes from OFI’s side for a positive result. Coach Paraschos was pleased with the performance of his players and he is not expected to make any changes in the starting lineup with the exceptions of Tavlaridis (DEF/11) who reached the limit of yellow cards and Karagounis (MID/12/1 goal) who is injured. Napoleoni (FWD/9/4 goals) has not fully recovered yet.
Betting Pick: The win of Panathinaikos @ 2.00
Considering the roster of Panathinaikos, Mr. Anastassiou is doing a great job so far. The Greens are highly motivated for the win and they are capable of achieving it. It is not going to be easy as they will face an equal opponent but they usually perform better when playing at Apostolos Nikolaidis. Keep in mind that Atromitos will have to face PAOK at home in the midweek match and my guess is that they will save their energy for that match.