AEK Athens vs Xanthi
Competition: Greece Super League
Date: 18 February 2018
Kick-off: 16:15 CET
If you haven’t seen the chance Araujo missed in the first half of last weekend’s AEK vs Asteras Tripolis, I suggest you stop reading this, take a quick break, go look it up online, and… you’ll see why it’s worth checking it out. Now that you’re back, you can imagine how relieved Araujo was in the 61st minute when Christodoulopoulos scored from the penalty spot to put AEK ahead. The Athens side had a dozen chances to score in the whole game, but, as expected and suggested here, the game stayed under 2.5 goals. Their win combined with that was one of my tips, and their win combined with a clean sheet was my other tip. Manolo Jimenez’s team stayed two points behind Super League leaders PAOK, and were thrilled to see Olympiakos drop points at Atromitos. Midweek, they hosted Dynamo Kiev in the Europa League, and were left with a 1-1, which puts them in a tough position, as they absolutely must score in Ukraine the coming Thursday, in the return leg.
“Funny” how things can turn… It was Castro who missed two big chances for Xanthi in the last 15 minutes of their home game against Kerkyra last weekend, with the visitors leading 1-0 from the 65th minute. Again, it was Castro who headed the ball in 65 seconds before added time expired, salvaging at least a point for Xanthi. Just when Xanthi had managed to win three games in a row, their performance and result against lowly Kerkyra came to… remind everyone of their struggles as hosts in the first round of this season’s Super League campaign, when they found it impossible to have two good results in a row at home. Xanthi claim Kerkyra’s goal started from a player who was offside, and they may be right. It was a marginal one though, one you can spot only if you pay close attention in the replay, so… deep down, the assistant was right to show “play on”, as assistants are supposed to raise their flag only when absolutely sure that a player is in an offside position. Anyway, Xanthi “demanded” VAR to be deployed immediately in Greece. It’s actually expected to be used next season in the championship.
Previous five matches:
AEK vs Dynamo Kiev 1-1
AEK vs Asteras Tripolis 1-0
AEK vs Olympiakos 2-1
Olympiakos vs AEK 1-2
AEK vs Lamia 2-0
Xanthi vs Kerkyra 1-1
Asteras Tripolis vs Xanthi 1-1
Xanthi vs Levadiakos 2-1
Olympiakos vs Xanthi 3-0
Xanthi vs Platanias 3-2
AEK’s next game is in Kiev, Ukraine, on Thursday, the return leg of their Europa League round of 16 tie with Dynamo. Xanthi are hosting Apollon Smyrnis next Sunday (Greece Super League).
AEK Athens vs Xanthi: Head to head Stats
Four wins for AEK and a draw in the five games between these two in Athens since 2010. The last two games (both AEK wins) went over 2.5 goals.
AEK Athens vs Xanthi: Prediction
AEK just played a big Europa League game, and they have an even bigger one in a few days. I’m anything but underestimating them, actually I’m a big fan of how they have… recovered these last years, returning from the second division, regaining their spot in the elite of Greece’s football scene, building a new stadium that will be a jewel of a football venue once complete, but, having written all that, I do expect them to look… less than impressive in this match, and drop points.
AEK Athens vs Xanthi: Betting Tips
Xanthi’s double chance pays 3.00, I know it’s a massive risk, AEK are… AEK, but as previously mentioned, with this game being “sandwiched” between Europa League clashes with Dynamo Kiev, I expect AEK to look affected, distracted, and Xanthi to take advantage of that.
More Greece Super League betting tips and match previews: