Arka Gdynia vs Lech Poznan
Competition: Poland Ekstraklasa
Date: 11 February 2017
Kick-off: 18:00 CET
Given Arka Gdynia’s spectacular ups and downs in the first half of the season, seeing them 6th in the table (level on points with two teams lower than them), is rather surprising. It’s their home results that mostly have them that high. They have lost only two games in Gdynia, ironically to neighbors Lechia Gdansk, and to bottom-of-the-table Pogon Szczecin, way earlier in the season, back in August. Leszek Ojrzynski is still their coach (and why shouldn’t he be?), they did mostly well in their friendly games in January, and, as all teams, they tried to boost their roster, signing – among others – two interesting strikers. Mexican Enrique Esqueda, 29, signed just a couple of days ago as a free agent. If he manages to adapt to Polish football, he would be a great signing for Arka. Saibou Keita on the other hand is a 20-year-old secondary striker who arrived on loan from Egersunds, and Arka is his chance to boost his… international profile.
Lech Poznan have the roster to challenge for the Ekstraklasa title, they are second in the table, just two points behind Legia Warsaw, but (yes, there is a “but”), there were games in the first half of the season that they looked poor beyond description, even at home, lacking, mostly, winning mentality. There were several games they played like… Lech Poznan, and then again, there were games they were inexplicably “scared”. Their home game against Korona Kielce is the first one that comes to my mind, a game in which, despite the positive result, they played, I repeat, at home, not away, with close to zero confidence (in the second half), leaving you wonder if they were Lech indeed. Nenad Bjelica is still their coach, over half a dozen new players arrived, but also some left, like defensive midfielder Abdul Aziz Tetteh who moved to Dinamo Moscow, and striker Nicki Bille Nielsen who signed at Panionios, Greece.
Previous five matches:
Pogon Szczecin vs Arka Gdynia 1-0
Arka Gdynia vs Gornik Zabrze 1-0
Korona Kielce vs Arka Gdynia 0-3
Wisla Plock vs Arka Gdynia 2-0
Arka Gdynia vs Chrobry Głogów 1-1
Lech Poznan vs Nieciecza 3-1
Zaglebie Lubin vs Lech Poznan 0-0
Lech Poznan vs Cracovia Krakow 1-0
Piast Gliwice vs Lech Poznan 0-0
Lech Poznan vs Wisla Plock 2-1
Arka Gdynia’s next game is at Wisla Krakow, next weekend. Lech Poznan will be hosting Pogon Szczecin (both Poland Ekstraklasa matches).
Arka Gdynia vs Lech Poznan: Head to head Stats
Less than a year ago, Lech thrashed Arka 4-1 in Gdynia. Before that, Arka hadn’t hosted Lech since 2011 (another big Lech win, 3-0).
Arka Gdynia vs Lech Poznan: Prediction
Lech Poznan are considered rather clear favourites to win, but… I admit, I don’t trust them, I didn’t trust them blindly in the first half of the season, because of their tendency to fall into… black holes every now and then, and I definitely don’t trust them now, after almost two months without an official match.
Arka Gdynia vs Lech Poznan: Betting Tips
I like Arka’s chances of earning at least a draw. Their double chance pays 1.75, and be reminded, this is a team that has lost only twice at home thus far this season, and one of those defeats was back in August. Draw, at 3.20, definitely feels more probable than an Arka win.