Xanthi vs PAOK
Competition: Greece Super League
Date: 31 March 2019
Kick-off: 18:00 CET
What do you think of a team, a professional team, that has scored just one goal in nine matches, yes, nine, no typing mistake there… One goal in nine matches, it feels… surreal. Ok, in the same nine games, Xanthi conceded only four goals, kudos to them for that, but still, at this point, their “scoring record” feels… ridiculous. To make matters worse for them, they are playing against the best team in the country. To make things even worse for them, they spent most of this past week missing four guys, four important players, due to injuries. Xanthi sit 10th in the table, on 29 points, six more than 13th-placed PAS Giannina, the team that if the season were over today, would have to go through playoffs to avoid relegation (unless they… change their mind in Greece, the last moment, and have 16 teams in the Super League next season, instead of 14).
Ten minutes into the second half in Agrinio, two weeks ago, against Panetolikos, PAOK went 1-0 down from the penalty spot. They had 35 minutes to avoid their first defeat of the season in the Super League. Final score, 1-2, with their captain, Adelino Vieirinha, scoring a goal (1-1) that will be remembered for years by PAOK’s fans. Actually, Razvan Lucescu’s team scored twice in a matter of minutes (64’ and 67’), and spent the last 25 minutes trying to score a third goal, not really being threatened by Panetolikos. Even if Olympiakos earn the three points in their game against Panathinaikos (big mess…), PAOK would be seven points ahead of their closest rivals, with five matches left. Mathematically, it’s not over. In reality, most people in Greece, football fans, wonder if PAOK will manage to win the championship title undefeated, not if they will manage to win the title; that, more or less, by most, if not… all, is taken for granted.
Previous five matches:
Panionios vs Xanthi 1-0
Xanthi vs Asteras Tripolis 0-0
PAS Giannina vs Xanthi 0-0
Xanthi vs Levadiakos 0-1
AEL Larissa vs Xanthi 0-0
Panetolikos vs PAOK 1-2
PAOK vs Atromitos 3-0
Panathinaikos vs PAOK 0-2
PAOK vs Panionios 4-2
PAOK vs Aris 1-1
Xanthi are hosting AEK next weekend (Super League). PAOK are hosting Asteras Tripolis on Wednesday (Greece Cup semifinal first leg).
Xanthi vs PAOK: Head to head Stats
One win for the hosts (back in 2014), two for PAOK (more recently), and two draws, in the last five games between these two in Xanthi.
Xanthi vs PAOK: Prediction
PAOK have absolutely everything needed to leave Xanthi victorious.
Xanthi vs PAOK: Betting Tips
Given that a simple PAOK win pays less than 1.40, I would risk with “PAOK and under 3.5 goals”, at 1.75, and also “PAOK to win and keep a clean sheet”, at 1.83.