Difficult, not impossible
Mainz 05 won the first match (1-0) but I honestly expected better things from them even at this part of the season. They do have an excuse as this was their first official game (third for Asteras Tripolis) but will their one goal be enough to qualify? We‘ll soon find out. The betting preview:
Analysis: Asteras Tripolis – FC Mainz 05
On aggregate: 0-1
Highlights from the first match
Mainz was not as strong as the bookies wanted us to believe with their odds. Asteras Tripolis was improved in defense (do not forget they received three goals from RoPS in two matches) and they had the first great chance of the match at 40’ when Mazza’s shot landed at the horizontal bar. The Greek team was in control but Mainz was the team to score first at 45’. Nothing changed until the final whistle with both teams having one great chance to score during the second half.
About today’s match
*Asteras Tripolis has an undefeated home record of 1W-3D-0L in their brief European history.
*The referee, Mr. Serge Gumienny (Belgium), is experienced in European matches. Over the last two years he has an average of 5 yellow cards per match. Four out of his last seven matches in Europe had a red card.
*Absences for Asteras Tripolis / Barrales (FWD/32/8 goals last season)
*Absences for Mainz 05 / Bungert (DEF/10/1 goal last season), Parker (MID/0), Slišković (FWD/2)
Betting Pick: The draw at halftime @ 1.90
Coach Verghetis was pleased with the defensive behavior of his team in the first match and I do not think we’ll see any changes. It is highly important to keep Mainz away from scoring at all cost. Their opponent will be improved today as they overcame the stress of their opening match with a positive result. My guess is that it will pointless for Mainz to risk too much and for this reason expect to see all action taking place during the second half.