Platanias vs PAOK
Competition: Greek Super League
Date: 23 April 2017
Kick-off: 18:00 CET
Platanias have been one of the pleasant surprises this season in the Greek Super League, and if their schedule the last five weeks of the Championship wasn’t that… cruel, they could have made it in the top five. Platanias faced several ‘average’ teams earlier tin the season, when they were still interested in earning points, before… ‘collapsing’ the last 4-5 weeks. Instead, these last weeks Platanias had to face Olympiakos, AEK, Panionios, and now PAOK, teams that are finishing the season in the top five. Even so, the team from Crete have made lots of new friends, and showed everyone that it’s possible to have a successful season on a very low budget, as long as you have the right coach and a great chemistry in the locker room. Coach Paraschos doesn’t have at his disposal left-back Vanderson and left winger Manoussos, both of them are suspended.
If only… If only PAOK had not started this season’s Super League with a three-point penalty, if only their major shareholder had not decided to send the reserve team to face Olympiakos in the return leg of a Cup tie last season (this is why PAOK got deducted three points, a punishment that was implemented in this season’s Super League). The Thessaloniki team are six points behind leaders Olympiakos, and… they will finish the season wondering… ‘what if’. In this game, coach Ivic doesn’t have at his disposal injured Prijovic and Mystakidis (the former will be ok to play in the play-offs, though), defensive midfielder Canas who missed a couple of training sessions towards the end of the week and was deemed unfit, and suspended left-back Leovac, as well as centre-forward Athanasiadis.
Platanias vs PAOK: Head-to-head Stats
Two wins for PAOK, one for Platanias, and one draw, in the four matches between these two since 2013 (in Crete).
Platanias vs PAOK: Prediction
I expect Platanias not to lose, counting on their excellent record at home, where they have lost just two games the whole season. Plus, PAOK have a super important game coming up, the return leg of their Cup semifinal against Panathinaikos, and beating Platanias wouldn’t change much in the Super League for them.
Platanias vs PAOK: Tips
I’m surprised to see betting companies give such a huge advantage to PAOK, keeping in mind that they are facing a very serious and hard-working team, who, especially at home, have earned great results this season. ‘Platanias or draw’ at 2.62 looks fantastic to me, compared to PAOK’s 1.44. I wouldn’t go into special bets, because I feel very strongly about this 2.62, which I consider good enough to avoid risking anything on clean sheets, number of goals, or scorers.