Panathinaikos vs Xanthi
Competition: Greece Super League
Date: 13 January 2019
Kick-off: 18:00 CET
None of Greece’s “big four” won midweek in their first games in the round of 16 (Cup), but out of all four, it’s Panathinaikos who are in bigger trouble. They lost 1-0 at Lamia, and the fact that they didn’t score away from home may make all the difference in the return leg. Defensive midfielder and captain Dimitris Kourbelis is out due to cards. Panathinaikos are fifth in the Super League table, on 22 points, but as I have mentioned several times since the start of the season, they were carrying a six-point penalty from last year, meaning that they have actually won 28 from 14 matches thus far. If it weren’t for that penalty, they would be third today, challenging Olympiakos for the second spot (that leads to the Champions League qualifiers).
Xanthi earned a… rather positive goalless draw midweek, when they hosted Olympiakos, in the first leg of their Greece Cup round of 16 tie. They didn’t win at home, but the fact that they avoided conceding as hosts, means that they will qualify even if they draw in Piraeus, as long as they score. Ahead of this game against Panathinaikos, things could be much better; Xanthi had to travel to Athens without four players, and a fifth was considered seriously doubtful up until 30 hours before kickoff. Defensive midfielder Pablo de Lucas, winger Jeffrey Sarpong, another winger Vasilis Fasidis, as well as central midfielder Khassa Camara, all four are out (the first three injured, the last one due to cards). Also, Xanthi’s leading scorer, Erik Jendrisek, was doubtful up until something more than 24 hours before kickoff. Xanthi are 8th in the table, on 19 points from 14 matches.
Previous five matches:
Lamia vs Panathinaikos 1-0
Kissamikos vs Panathinaikos 1-2
Panathinaikos vs Atromitos 1-0
OFI Crete vs Panathinaikos 3-1
Panathinaikos vs OF Ierapetra 2-2
Xanthi vs Olympiakos Piraeus 0-0
Niki Volos vs Xanthi 1-0
Apollon Smyrnis vs Xanthi 1-0
Xanthi vs Olympiakos Piraeus 1-1
AEK Athens vs Xanthi 2-0
Panathinaikos are visiting Lamia next weekend. Xanthi will be hosting Atromitos (both Super League matches).
Panathinaikos vs Xanthi: Head to head Stats
That’s impressive… Believe it or not, Xanthi have beaten Panathinaikos four out of the last five times they visited them(!). The other match was a Green win.
Panathinaikos vs Xanthi: Prediction
I’m backing Panathinaikos to win, partly because Xanthi traveled to Athens with several problems.
Panathinaikos vs Xanthi: Betting Tips
A simple Panathinaikos win is at 1.60. For much more than that, I would risk with “Panathinaikos and under 2.5 goals”, at 2.80. Practically all Xanthi matches away from home this season have stayed under 2.5 goals. Even at PAOK and AEK, they lost 2-0, not scoring, but not conceding more than two goals either, in other words, not getting embarrassed. “Panathinaikos and under 3.5 goals” pays 1.93, still good, although not as good as 2.80.