A huge challenge for Asteras Tripolis
The obligations of Asteras Tripolis in Europa League started on mid-July. They have made it this far with a record of 4W-2D-2L but their real strength is at home (4W-0D-0L). Today they will face Tottenham away to defend their first place in Group C. Coach Verghetis has every right to be proud of his players who seem reluctant to end their European journey. Tottenham is probably the greatest challenge they have faced so far but they have also earned their right to hope for a positive result. The preview and betting picks:
Analysis: Tottenham – Asteras Tripolis
*Venue: White Hart Lane, London
*The referee,Ivan Kružliak (SLK), is active in international cups since 2011. In his 9 matches since 2013 he has an average of 4.67 yellow cards. He used the red card four times, two of them in one match.
Tottenham is not doing well lately. Their recent defeat from a strong club like Manchester City (4-1) was more or less expected but their overall record since 31/08/14 (2W-4D-3L) in all competitions shows there is something wrong. In their last match against Manchester City they were able to keep up only for the first 20’ minutes but they do have the excuse of receiving the last two goals (68’ penalty kick, 75’) while playing with a man down (67’, red card at Fazio). In their two Europa League draws against Partizan (0-0 away) and Besiktas (1-1 at home) they failed to prove they are a hot favorite for the first place in Group C. A win today can change this and they are expected to be motivated for it. Coach Pochettino will make changes in the starting lineup.
Injured: Walker (DEF/0)
Doubtful: Rose (DEF/0), Naughton (DEF/3), Chadli (MID/1)
Asteras Tripolis comes from a home draw against Panetolikos (1-1) which was not a positive result. They were in control for most of the match, they scored first at 26’ (Barrales) but Panetolikos answered quickly at 35’ (Moreno). Both sides had a good number of attempts (15-13) but the home team missed the most important chance of the match when Rolle aimed at the bar at 93’. It was not the first time Asteras Tripolis lost points before a European match. In fact they have not reached the same level of concentration in their domestic matches. There are two important absences reported for coach Verghetis.
Injured: Goian (DEF/8/1 goal), Tie Bi (MID/2)
Betting Pick: Both to score @ 2.25
There is no doubt Tottenham is a favorite for the win here. Goian is a very important absence for the defense of Asteras but I have no doubt they will give their best again. They might not be doing so well away but they scored in three of their four away matches. They even made it in their average performance against Besiktas (1-1 away), the same team Tottenham failed to win at home.
Keep in mind the players of Asteras have absolutely nothing to lose. They know their future in Europa League depends on their two home matches. No one will blame them in case of a defeat. This is why I believe they will be more dangerous tonight than in any of their previous games. The handicap win (+1.5) of Asteras Tripolis @ 2.00 is closer than you think. All I am saying is that even if they lose tonight, it will not be by 2 goals.