Apollon Smyrnis vs Asteras Tripolis
Competition: Greece Super League
Date: 3 February 2019
Kick-off: 15:00 CET
When the coach of a team fighting to avoid relegation tells reporters “we are working for next season”, you realize that the… fight is practically over. Apollon Smyrnis lost in Lamia midweek, 2-1, paying for two poor refereeing decisions that went Lamia’s way. Babis Tennes, Apollon’s coach, didn’t hide behind his finger after the final whistle. They are on just 6 points from 18 matches, 11 whole points behind PAS Giannina, the team that if the season were over today, would have to go through a play-off match to avoid relegation. Apollon need a close to perfect last third of the season to avoid relegation, but… even they know their mission is impossible. The fact that even more players were released the last couple of days of the transfer window, speaks volumes about what Apollon’s people think; limit the budget, contain the… damage, start planning on next season, in the Football League (second division).
Asteras Tripolis’ assistant coach was… honest, telling reporters after his team’s 1-0 defeat at Panionios midweek that he simply… doesn’t know what’s wrong. Asteras won their last five games in 2018, four in the Super League and one in the Cup, conceding just one goal. In six matches in 2019, they have lost five, and won just one (an important one, that earned them a ticket to the Cup quarterfinals, but… one). Truth is, half of those matches were against the three strongest teams in the country, but… for example, on Wednesday, Asteras had no excuse, they should have done much-much better against Panionios. Before this weekend’s matches, they were 12th, on 18 points, right above the relegation zone.
Previous five matches:
Lamia vs Apollon Smyrnis 2-1
PAS Giannina vs Apollon Smyrnis 1-0
Atromitos vs Apollon Smyrnis 2-1
Apollon Smyrnis vs Levadiakos 0-0
AEL Larissa vs Apollon Smyrnis 3-0
Panionios vs Asteras Tripolis 1-0
Asteras Tripolis vs Olympiakos Piraeus 0-2
Asteras Tripolis vs AEL Larissa 5-3
AEK Athens vs Asteras Tripolis 3-0
Asteras Tripolis vs PAOK 0-3
Apollon are visiting Panionios next weekend (Super League). Asteras are visiting Ergotelis on Thursday (Greece Cup).
Apollon Smyrnis vs Asteras Tripolis: Head to head Stats
Asteras have visited Apollon twice the last five years, and have beaten them both times, 1-2 and 1-3. Before 2014, they hadn’t visited them since 2005.
Apollon Smyrnis vs Asteras Tripolis: Prediction
Asteras are considered favorites to win the game, but… I find it hard to trust them.
Apollon Smyrnis vs Asteras Tripolis: Betting Tips
I’m taking a risk with Apollon’s double chance. I feel the guys left in the team, are motivated enough to play if not for the club, at least for their own future. “Apollon or draw” is at 2.12, good enough I reckon to avoid messing with number of goals.