Xanthi vs Platanias
Competition: Greek Super League
Date: 5 March 2017
Kick-off: 16:15 CET
Xanthi seem to have stopped their free fall at just the right moment. After going without a win for six matches and putting in jeopardy their presence in the Top 5, they bounced back last weekend with an 1-0 home win over Panathinaikos, and even beat PAOK in Thessaloniki midweek, 0-1, a result not good enough to allow them to qualify to the Cup semifinals, but still a sign that things have changed at Xanthi. Coach Lucescu cannot count on attacker Soltani due to suspension. The Frenchman got sent off in Xanthi’s last game, and Lucescu got so angry that he literally threw a bottle of water at him(!).
Platanias have been in great form for weeks now, and no one can really blame them for losing at AEK midweek. The Cup dream is over, but their Super League dream is very much alive, and incredible as it may seem to anyone who follows the Greek Championship consistently, little Platanias do actually have a shot to finish in the Top 5, especially if they outdo themselves and manage to leave Xanthi with all three points. It won’t be easy, not only because Xanthi seem to have… waken up, but also because the visitors will be without two “as key as it gets” players, defender Banana, and striker Giakoumakis. The first one has been vital for Platanias’ defense throughout the season, while Giakoumakis is their leading scorer, and their MVP in last weekend’s 3-0 home win over Asteras Tripolis. Both players are out due to cards.
Xanthi vs Platanias: Head-to-head Stats
Two wins for Xanthi, two for Platanias, and two draws, in their last six games at Xanthi. The draws were goalless, and from all those six games only one had more than 2.5 goals.
Xanthi vs Platanias: Prediction
Looking at the table, Xanthi and Platanias look equally strong. Looking at their recent form, Platanias seem to have the upper hand. But (important “but”), the visitors will be without two hugely important players, and teams like Platanias don’t have the deep roster needed to cope sufficiently with major absences. I expect Xanthi to take advantage of this and to win the game.
Xanthi vs Platanias: Tips
A simple Xanthi win pays enough if you’re after -almost- doubling your money. If you want more than that, bet on them to win and to keep a clean sheet. A… greedier choice would be a Xanthi win with a clean sheet, combined with Younes to score anytime.