Xanthi vs Apollon Smyrnis
Competition: Greece Super League
Date: 25 February 2018
Kick-off: 14:00 CET
Xanthi were… nowhere to be seen in the first 45 minutes last weekend at AEK Athens. At halftime, they were 4-0 down(!). In all fairness, they were unlucky to find opposite them a really remarkable AEK, who played one of their best halves of the season. In the second part, with the game already decided, Xanthi created a couple of minor chances, but all in all they were rather lucky to leave Athens with that 4-0, and not a much bigger score. Midfielder Adrián Lucero is back from an injury, which is great news for Xanthi. They are 6th in the table, just two points behind 5th-placed Panionios, still in with a chance to earn a Europa League ticket. The club decided to set the cheapest tickets at just 10 euros, hoping to attract as many fans as possible to the game.
Football can be incredibly cruel, and Apollon Smyrnis felt it on their skin last weekend. They were the better team at Kerkyra in the first half, missing good chances to take the lead, and then, 40th minute, Martin Rolle took a free-kick very well, the ball hit the horizontal post, the back of Apollon’s goalkeeper, and went in. Just like that, Apollon were trailing 1-0. It got… crazier in the second half. Apollon missed more chances to earn at least a point. Come 67th minute, Kerkyra’s coach had a player ready to substitute Denis Epstein. Try guessing what happened before the ball went out, before Kerkyra could make the substitution… Excellent Rolle pass to Epstein, 2-0. It’s as if… fate had pre-decided to doom Apollon last weekend. Painful defeat, as they are now left second-to-last in the table, with Kerkyra two points above them.
Previous five matches:
AEK Athens vs Xanthi 4-0
Xanthi vs Kerkyra 1-1
Asteras Tripolis vs Xanthi 1-1
Xanthi vs Levadiakos 2-1
Olympiakos vs Xanthi 3-0
Kerkyra vs Apollon Smyrnis 2-0
Apollon vs Levadiakos 1-1
Platanias vs Apollon 1-1
Apollon vs Panathinaikos 0-0
PAOK vs Apollon 3-0
Xanthi’s next game is at Atromitos, next Saturday. Apollon will be hosting Panetolikos on Monday (both Greece Super League matches).
Xanthi vs Apollon Smyrnis: Head to head Stats
Xanthi haven’t hosted Apollon Smyrnis since 2013. Back then, they beat them 3-2. Before that, they hadn’t hosted them since 2000.
Xanthi vs Apollon Smyrnis: Prediction
Xanthi are considered clear favourites to win the game, but I’m not touching their 1.80, I just don’t trust them. I’m betting on goals instead.
Xanthi vs Apollon Smyrnis: Betting Tips
Given that “under 2.5 combined goals” pays just 1.50, I’m taking the xtra risk to suggest “under 1.5”, at 2.50 betting odds. Deep down I expect a goalless draw, but if one of the two teams score, that should be it. I would suggest “no” on “both teams to score, but it pays just 1.57.