Difficult matches for the new coaches
For 67 minutes yesterday, I thought that I was very close in having a new record in the Bomb of the Day section (17.00). Olympiakos killed all my hopes with three goals in seven minutes and that betting pick was lost. There are five more matches available today but there is not enough time to comment properly on all of them. Instead of not publishing anything at all, I decided it will be better to do it in brief:
VERIA – ARIS
Mr. Stoica took over Veria a day after the humiliating defeat from Olympiakos (6-0). He had a few days to work with his players but Aris is coming from the away win against Panionios (1-2) and Mr. Milincovic had some time to work with his team as well. I expect to see some improvement by the home side but I do not feel safe for picking them for the win. The presence of 3.000 fans on Aris’ side makes me confident they will fight hard. Veria is always dangerous at home so the only “safe” bet that I see is the option of both teams to score @ 2.20.
KALLONI – XANTHI
The newcomers were left with a man down again in their last away match against Levadiakos and they expanded their losing streak in three consecutive defeats. Their coach, Mr. Matzourakis is banned for this match but they will play at Venue Charilaou where they won Aris (0-2) a few weeks back. Xanthi underestimated Apollon in the last home match; they were losing by 0-2 (12’, 25’) but they managed to get back before halftime (32’, 40’) and finally won with a new goal at 84’. Kalloni is a lot better that Apollon, especially in defense, and I am afraid that if Xanthi will have a weak start again they will get nothing in this match. My first option is Kalloni (+0.5) to win @ 1.50 and I also consider their fixed odd win @ 3.00 a value bet.
APOLLON SMYRNIS – PANETOLIKOS
Apollon surprised Xanthi by taking the lead by two goals (12’, 25’) but their weak defense betrayed them again and they ended up with nothing. Mr. Chavos left the club and Mr. Tennes (experienced in promoting clubs to Super League) was called up to replace him. Panetolikos comes from the home win against PAS Giannina (2-0) where they kept a clean sheet for the fifth time in their last six matches. I cannot see how a team that did not lose from Olympiakos (0-0 at home) or PAOK (2-0 at home) can lose from the worst defense in Super League. Mr. Tennes is a good coach but I feel he has a lot of work to improve his team. I like the odds offered on the win of Panetolikos @ 3.10 and I consider this option a value bet. A safer option is the win of Panetolikos (+0.5) @ 1.60.
OFI – ERGOTELIS
Note: This match is considered a domestic battle because both teams are in the island of Crete.
OFI comes from an away draw against Panthrakikos (1-1) but their goal should never have counted. The seventh match away from a win was the end of Mr. Dermitzakis at the bench. The man called to replace him is Mr. Sa Pinto who arrived at Iraklion last Friday. Theoretically he did not have enough time to work with his new players. Ergotelis comes from a home win over Platanias (3-1) after a good performance and they continue undefeated this season (3W-4D-0L). OFI is a lot stronger when playing at home. In fact two of the best matches in the league so far, were played at Venue Theodoros Vardinogiannis (against Asteras 1-1 and PAOK 1-1) where they have only draws after four matches (0-4-0) mainly because of their scoring difficulty. Breaks like the one for the World Cup Qualifiers usually work against teams like Ergotelis that run unexpected undefeated streaks. I find the win of OFI @ 1.70 highly probable but the odds are very poor if we consider what the two teams have done so far. Considering the last two matches I have watched in this venue (Asteras, PAOK), I consider the option of Over 2.5 goals @ 2.50 a much better choice.
PANATHINAIKOS – PANTHRAKIKOS
Panathinaikos was defeated in the last away match against PAOK (2-1) but they did waste a huge chance for a draw when Berg lost a penalty kick at 81’. The morale of the team is still good despite their defeat after their positive performance which was an answer to all those who thought they would be humiliated by PAOK. Panthrakikos comes from a home draw against OFI but the players have every right to feel the win was stolen from them since the equalizer was scored with the help of a hand! If we compare the results of the two teams so far, this match will probably be harder for Panathinaikos than the odds show. Normally, I would choose Panthrakikos but their absences today in both offense and defense leave me no choice. The odds on the home win (1.45-1.55) are ridiculous but they do enrich the halftime/fulltime option Draw/Panathinaikos @ 4.20.