Probable draws ahead

I was a bit disappointed by yesterday’s results. I spent almost an hour trying to decide whether I will choose the away win for Panthrakikos and the HT/FT for Panionios (1/2) or vice versa (2/1 for Panetolikos and win for Panionios). Unfortunately I picked the wrong scenario as I found it almost impossible to see Panionios scoring twice because of their scoring difficulties lately. I wonder if this is not a bad beat, what is…

The Sunday matches of Super League are a bit trickier this week and I expect to see at least a couple of draws today, if not more. The predictions:

ARIS vs. ATROMITOS

Aris took the lead in the last away match against Kalloni but once again they failed to get the win they need so badly (3-1). The financial problems of the club still hold, the morale of the players is poor but the coach and the officials are still confident they will save the season in the remaining matches. The six transferred players were not licensed to participate again so Mr. Papadopoulos will have to make his plans with the same roster. Pulido (DEF/13) is banned for this match.

Atromitos managed to get a home draw (0-0) in the last match against Olympiakos. They were under some pressure by the Champions for a while but their good defensive behavior allowed them to keep a clean sheet against the best offense of the league. In fact they had three good chances to steal the win in the last twenty minutes of the match. Garcia (MID/18) is banned for the next match against Aris and he is considered an important absence in midfield.

Betting pick: Atromitos to win @ 2.00

Aris has not won at home yet (0W-4D-5L, goals 5-14) and they keep wasting the chances they get for points. The morale of the team is poor and I doubt they can do anything against Atromitos who is considered by many the second best team in the league.

APOLLON SMYRNIS vs. ASTERAS TRIPOLIS

An emphatic win like 4-0 was not what I had in mind when I included Apollon vs. PAS Giannina in the Pick of the Day section last week. It is obvious that the morale of the players is superb under the new coach and the proof is that they have been defeated only once (at home vs. Olympiakos, 0-5) in their last seven (3W-3D-1L). Panathinaikos, PAOK, Panthrakikos, Ergotelis, Aris and Giannina failed to beat a team that was considered the worst defense in the league. The match against Asteras Tripolis will not be easy but the players of Mr. Lawrie Sanchez seem capable of anything. Papazacharias (DEF/8) is injured and Korbos (DEF/18/5 goals) is banned; both players will not be available in this match.

Asteras Tripolis comes from an easy home win against Platanias (3-0) which came a lot easier than anyone anticipated considering the last performances of the two teams. The players of Mr. Verghetis took advantage of the defensive mistakes of their opponent showing a lot more motivation for the win. The next match against Apollon Smyrnis is not expected to be easy as their opponent is in form but Asteras has one of the best defenses in the league which has allowed them to have (with Atromitos) only three defeats this season. N’Daw (MID/13/2 goals) is banned and he is considered an important absence for this match.

Betting Pick: The draw @ 3.10

Apollon is doing great lately but sooner or later the rest of the teams will adapt to their new tactics with Mr. Sanchez. If there is one thing I know about Asteras, is their tendency to draws (8W-8D-3L). They might not be as strong as they were last season but they surely know how to avoid a defeat even in cases they had to play with a man down.

GIANNINA vs. KALLONI

The last away defeat from Apollon Smyrnis (4-0) was just another sign that Mr. Tsiolis cannot feel safe at the bench of PAS Giannina. The officials of the club support him as he is one of the most successful Greek coaches but the last results have disappointed the fans. Players that left, especially De Vincenti, have not been properly replaced and the team is only 4 points away from relegation. If they keep playing like this they will be in trouble before they know it. At least they are doing better when they play at home (7W-0D-3L, goals 12-8) where they have gathered 21 out of their total 23 points. Vila (FWD/19/2 goals) is injured and he will miss this match.

Kalloni managed to get the most important win of the season in the last home match against Aris (3-1). The players of Mr. Matzourakis showed character and scored three goals despite the fact that Aris had scored first. They also had a midweek re-match for the Cup against OFI where they lost (0-1, overtime 0-2) and were left out of the competition. Leandro Climaco Pinto (DEF/19/1 goal) is banned and he will not be available today.

Betting Pick: The draw at halftime @ 1.90

If Kalloni did not have a midweek match I would have no hesitation on looking for an away win here. The morale of the home side is poor and they will also have to deal with the poor condition of their field which has become a mud hole once again because of the rain. Even Mr. Tsiolis was troubled with it according the last reports. We will probably not see a good game here and it looks like a great chance for Kalloni to escape with a point today. The draw @ 3.90 is my next pick for this match.

ERGOTELIS vs. SKODA XANTHI

The last away defeat from Levadiakos (2-0) was the end of coach Petrakis at the bench of Ergotelis. The officials of the club had no other choice as their team has come very close to relegation placement. The man called up to replace him is Mr. Ouzounidis (former coach of Xanthi and Platanias) who has connected his name is Super League mainly with Xanthi. He will immediately face his former team with the goal to get Ergotelis back to wins. There are no important problems or absences reported.

Xanthi comes from three consecutive defeats with the same score (2-1) against Panathinaikos (away), PAOK (home) and Panthrakikos (away). In their last match against Panthrakikos they had to play with a man down since 16’ (red card at Fliskas). They received a goal at 70’ but managed to score back at 73’ while they complained a lot for an offside in the second goal of the home side (79’). The match was practically over when they received a second red card at 88’ (Mucuana). Both Fliskas (MID/15) and Mucuana (DEF/17/0) are banned for the next match against Ergotelis.

Betting Pick: The draw @ 3.10

Mr. Ouzounidis has been supported a lot in the past by the chairman of Xanthi, Mr. Panopoulos. Theoretically he would like to start with a win but neither his roster nor his past can make him try giving Xanthi a fourth consecutive defeat. The draw, which is probable anyway, can satisfy both sides here.

VERIA vs. PANATHINAIKOS

Veria concentrated on defense in the last away match against OFI and got a very important win (0-1). To be more exact, they played smart and punished the home team for not taking advantage of their chances throughout that match. The two red cards at OFI (75’, 81’) allowed Veria to have two extra men in the last minutes where they also manage to score (85’) and get three very important points in their efforts to avoid relegation. There are no important problems or absences reported for coach Dostanić.

Panathinaikos had a good first half in the last home win against Panionios (1-0) where they scored, they had some chances and an attempt at the bar (39’, Karelis). The second half belonged to Panionios who missed a penalty kick at 68’ – Lasnik sent it to the bar – while the same happened to the header of Labropoulos at 80’. The overall impression is that the draw would be a more fair result but the important thing is that the Greens got lucky maybe for the first time this season. Coach Anastassiou has already lost points from Veria in the home match of the first round (1-1) so the goal can be nothing else than the win today. Triantafyllopoulos (DEF/16) and Abeid (MID/16/4 goals) are banned while Schildenfeld (DEF/13) and Mendes (MID/16) are injured. All of them are considered starting lineup players. Panathinaikos also had a midweek away rematch for the Cup against Iraklis Psachnon where they won (0-1) and moved on to the next round.

Betting Pick: Panathinaikos to win @ 2.10

Veria seems like a tricky opponent for Panathinaikos but the same had happened in the away matches against Kalloni and Levadiakos. Both of them were defeated easily from the Greens with the same score (4-0). So far Mr. Anastassiou does not the same mistake twice so I doubt we will see new poor performance or a new away defeat from Panathinaikos.

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