Xanthi is in need of points
The motive to avoid relegation plays an important role and we have already watched how teams of lower placement began to look for more points over the last month. Day 29 finds Panetolikos having the best and safest season of their history in Super League. At the same time Xanthi is still in need of (at least) five more points just to stay away from relegation placement but their goal was a top half finish when the season started. What makes this match special is that Xanthi took Panetolikos’ side last week when they protested for the referee of their away match against Levadiakos (2-1 defeat).
The preview and betting pick for the last match of Day 29:
Analysis: Panetolikos – Xanthi
Panetolikos was defeated in the last away match Levadiakos (2-1). Their opponent was in need of points but they managed to surprise them with an early goal at 2’ (Budimir). Levadiakos started looking for the equalizer but the defensive behavior of Panetolikos was excellent while their counter attacks got them very close in a second goal in many cases (attempts on goal: 8-12). At 22’ coach Chavos was sent off because of his furious reaction to the referee who showed three yellow cards to his team until that moment. Panetolikos failed to score a second goal and the two goals of Levadiakos at 91’ (foul kick that should not be given) and 95’ (penalty kick) left the team with no points. The officials of the club published a statement after the match accusing the referee of having a specific plan for this match and my opinion is they were right. The three consecutive defeats (Kalloni 3-1 away, Atromitos 1-3 at home and Levadiakos 2-1 away) and especially the last one have motivated the players to get back to positive results.
Banned: Galo (DEF/28/1 goal/4 assists), Koutromanos (DEF/3)
Injured: Silva Junior (MID/24/1 goal), Poy (FWD/2)
Xanthi was defeated in the last home match from Asteras Tripolis (0-1) and they are now officially in trouble as they cannot feel safe in the standings. They had an average performance but they were more dangerous than Asteras (attempts on goal 10-5). Thing became difficult when their opponent scored at 60’ (Barrales) but they added pressure and deserved a goal. They were very unlucky at 94’ when Calvo’s attempt to score was stopped by the bar. Coach Kehagias stated after the match that the final score was unfair and that he is very confident his team will not get in relegation fight no matter what happens.
Banned: Baxevanidis (MID/25/2 assists)
Injured: Chema (GK/17), Mantalos (MID/25/5 goals/1 assists)
Betting Pick: The draw @ 3.30
The schedule of Xanthi makes it almost certain they will get at least 6 points until the end of the season so they have no real problems regarding the relegation battle. Both teams are out of form with Panetolikos having 1W-1D-4L and Xanthi 2W-0D-4L in their last six matches. The home team is much stronger when playing at Agrinio (8W-4D-1L, goals 20-6) while Xanthi is a big disappointment when playing away this season (1W-4D-9L, goals 13-28).
The supporting statements of Xanthi towards Panetolikos have taken away any tension I would expect to see in this match. Panetolikos is the favorite but the real value is on the draw as a final outcome. The way I see it both sides will be satisfied with it.