The strange behavior of Xanthi
Xanthi had a promising start this season. Their matches against PAOK (0-0 away, Day 1), AEK (0-0 at home, Day 2) and Atromitos (0-1 away win, Day 3) showed their defensive quality. Following their home defeat from Olympiacos (1-3, Day 4) their schedule became a lot easier but it was clear they also had a scoring problem. They are currently the worst offense in Super League and they look like a team that enters the field to avoid the defeat and nothing more. Today, they have a chance to get a win against Panetolikos who happens to have the worst defense in this league (17 goals). Will they make it? The preview and betting pick:
Analysis: Xanthi – Panetolikos
Xanthi was concentrated on defense for one more time and got the point in away match against Panthrakikos (0-0). Needless to say the home team had a greater number of chances (12-3) with the most important of them hitting the bar at 91’. Personally, I feel Panthrakikos deserved to win but no one can doubt the good defensive behavior of Xanthi can give them points even when they do not deserve them. Lucescu left some players out in the midweek home defeat from AEK (0-1) in the Cup. The defeat was fair as AEK was in control and they probably deserved to score a second goal.
Injured: Karypidis (DEF/5), Zaradoukas (DEF/1), Vassilakakis (MID/8/1 assist)
The change at the bench of Panetolikos has not worked yet. The arrival of coach Matzourakis was combined with a positive result on Day 7 (Levadiakos 2-2 away) but the new defeat in the home match against Platanias (1-2) showed the team has a serious defensive problem. It is no coincidence they have the worst defense in Super League (17 goals). The same story was repeated in their midweek home match against Panionios (1-2) for the Cup. They were down by two goals early (10’ and 31’) and they spent the rest of the match trying to get back. Kappel scored at 74’ but the score did not change until the final whistle.
Injured: Corstjens (DEF/0), Camara (FWD/2), Warda (FWD/8/1 goal)
Betting Pick: The win of Xanthi @ 1.80
Xanthi has indeed scoring difficulties but I consider them to be more reliable than Panetolikos. I noticed that their next two matches will be against too weak defenses (Panetolikos and Kalloni) which means they have an excellent chance to get 6pts and leave the danger zone. I know they do not score much but they surely do not deserve to be there either.