Asteras Tripolis vs Iraklis
Competition: Greek Super League
Date: 30 April 2017
Kick-off: 18:00 CET
It’s been a week now, and I still cannot believe that Asteras lost at Veria… Actually, there are several things I cannot believe… That they lost a game in which they were 2-0 up after just eight minutes, that they conceded FOUR goals, four goals scored in a matter of 26 minutes(!!)… Several Asteras players talked about ‘shame’ these last days, they had been undefeated for five weeks, they were playing against the weakest side of the league, but still… This last week, the board announced that coach Vergetis will remain at the team, which makes perfect sense. French defender Lionel Zouma will play for the first time this season, having spent many months sidelined, after a serious injury. At Asteras they consider him a ‘new arrival’, ahead of next season. Coach Vergetis is expected to use other youngsters as well, Ivorian striker Cedric Gondo, Greek striker Giannis Kotsiras, defender Giorgos Kiriakopoulos, guys who have played very little this season. Asteras are not after the points in this match, so Vergetis has the ‘luxury’ to give time to ‘non-regulars’.
Amazingly, miraculously, Iraklis are one of the two teams who have won their last four Super League matches (PAOK are the other). Especially last Sunday, it was a… glorious day to be an Iraklis fan. The few thousands who went to Kaftanzoglio, saw their team come from behind to beat Panetolikos with an 85th-minute goal, a goal and a win that secured Iraklis their presence in the Super League next season as well, unless, UNLESS, the financial problems of the club send them to the Football League, Greece’s second category. Just last Friday the club got into new trouble, and at this point, no one can really, positively, 100%, assure the fans of Iraklis that their team will compete in the top flight next season. These last days saw yet another strike at Iraklis, this time it was the coach and his assistants who abstained from their duties, sick and tired of not getting paid for way too long. Centre-back Dimitris Stamou, central midfielder Vasilis Angelopoulos and attacking midfielder Leozinho are unavailable due to suspension. Defensive midfielder Lefteris Intzoglou and right winger Jorge Monteiro were also left out of the group of players who traveled to Tripoli.
Asteras Tripolis vs Iraklis: Head-to-head Stats
Iraklis have beaten Asteras the last two times they visited them (in 2015), 2-1 and 1-0, in a Super League and Cup game respectively.
Asteras Tripolis vs Iraklis: Prediction
Asteras are going to play with several youngsters, Iraklis are no longer under pressure to earn points, so… really, anything can happen in this game.
Asteras Tripolis vs Iraklis: Tips
‘Both teams to score’ is at 1.70. ‘Over 2.5 goals’ pays 1.75. Both make sense, given how… relaxed and carefree both teams should look, under zero pressure to get all three points, not even one. ‘Draw or Iraklis’ at 2.00, looks better value to me than a win of the home side, which pays 1.72.