Panathinaikos’ players motivated for the win
If you are in the same Group with Lazio and Tottenham the only way to have any hopes for the next stage is to ensure two wins against the weaker club. A new negative result for the Greens will not be a disaster because it is still to early to know what will happen in the Groups. However the players of Panathinaikos need a win to boost their morale and their fans who seem quite disappointed.
Betting analysis and match prediction
The away defeat against Panthrakikos was a hit to the morale of the team. After only the third match day in the Super League Greece, they are seven points away from the rivals of Olympiakos and the chances for winning the championship fade away. They were left out from the Champions League Groups by Malaga (2-0 away, 0-0 home) but their realistic target for this season was and still is the Europa League. Mr. Ferreira announced the starting line up a few hours ago:
Defenders: Vyntra, Boumsong, Velaskez, Spyropoulos
Midfielders: Zeka, Vitolo, Katsouranis
Forwards: Sissoko, Christodoulopoulos, Quincy
Maribor dominates the domestic league but this is not enough when participating in UEFA Competitions. European matches like the tonight’s challenge against Panathinaikos are the real tests for their potential. They were left out of the Champions’ League Group Stage by D. Zagreb after losing both matches (1-2 away, 0-1 home). They might be the underdogs in this group but Panathinaikos is in theory the weaker of their three opponents.
Maribor has the home advantage but Panathinaikos is still the favorite of the match. Despite their poor recent appearances they still have a roster of 3-4 times the value of their opponents.
I believe the performance of the experienced midfielder Katsouranis will be the key for this match. His team had negative results in both domestic matches without him, against PAS Giannina (where he was sent-off during the second half) and against Panthrakikos (he was banned and will be for 4 matches after his behavior against the referee in Match Day 2). Katsouranis is a reliable midfielder who can connect the lines of Panathinaikos and make the passes the forwards need to score.
Another important factor for this match is how the team as whole will react to their recent poor results. According to the recent news they seem highly motivated and determined to make it in this Group. After all it is all they have left since they are already 7 point away from the first place and this is a huge point difference for Super League Greece.
Panathinaikos has a strong motive tonight and their win @ 2.60 is possible. It is a dead end for the Greens who know their fans are disappointed and need a boost. The best way to do that is by making them proud again with wins in the Europa League.
Other bets and tips
Over 2.5 goals @ 2.35 is a value bet. Panathinaikos’ defense has a tendency to receive goals. Their last home match against Malaga was an exception because the players had concentrated too much on their defense. Tonight things are different. They do need the win and they will open up against an opponent who is much weaker than Malaga but can score as well. The scores I have in mind is 1-2 @ 10.00 and 1-3 @ 21.00.