Olympiacos v Asteras Tripolis
An imposing first-half performance was followed by a below-par second-half display by Olympiacos, who took a two-goal lead before the break against PAS Giannina but failed to grab all three points last time out. The reigning Greek Super League champions didn’t manage to kick off the second part of the season in style as they drew 2-2 away at PAS, with coach Michel being at the receiving end of criticism for his tactics.
Despite sitting fourth in the table, Olympiacos currently have arguably the most talented attack in the league, boasting former Real Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez, record-scorer Youssef El-Arabi and a rejuvenated Kostas Fortounis, who returned to action after two serious injuries with a brace against PAS.
Olympiacos desperately need to bounce back after last week’s disappointing result and they will try to get back to winning ways against a solid Asteras Tripolis. The hosts average just 1.5 goals per home league game this season, while Tripoli have conceded more than two goals in just one of their 14 games thus far.
Asteras boast one of the finest defences in Greece, as only five of the 14 teams have conceded more goals than Iraklis Metaxas’ side, who have kept two clean sheets in their last two games.
In fact, Olympiacos failed to break down Asteras’ defence in the first round, as the Greek Super League giants missed a handful of chances to break the deadlock.
Yet, Olympiacos cannot drop points for the second game in a row. They will face Asteras in front of their fans, who have seen the team win just two of their last six home games across all competitions. The hosts want to end the calendar year on a positive note and they should manage to grab all three points – as they’ve done in all their last six home games against Asteras.
However, we shouldn’t expect an entertaining game with many goals, mainly due to Asteras’ defensive solidity.
Volos v AEK Athens
Despite not impressing on home soil against Lamia, AEK managed to net three goals and grab a 3-0 victory to reduce the gap to six points from leaders Panathinaikos. AEK remain unbeaten since mid-September, recording 10 wins and two draws in the last 12 games across all competitions.
On Sunday, they will be visiting Volos, who have kept just one clean sheet in seven games. No teams have scored more goals than AEK (26) thus far, while Volos boast the joint third-best attack in the league (21 goals).
Despite their last game ending in a rare 0-0 draw, only one of Volos’ previous 10 games ended with under 2.5 goals. Currently sitting fifth in the Greek Super League table, Konstantinos Bratsos’ side have conceded more goals (19) than any of the top-nine teams.
Most of their games tend to be entertaining, featuring many goals by both teams. In fact, as many as 40 goals have been scored in the 14 matches Volos have disputed thus far. This is an average of almost 2.9 goals per duel.
Volos managed to grab a 1-0 win away at AEK Athens earlier this season, but the visitors have recorded just one defeat (to leaders Panathinaikos) since.
Only Panathinaikos (13 in six games) have netted more times away from home than AEK (11 in seven games), and only two teams have conceded more goals than Volos (11 in seven games) on home soil.
As many as 6000 AEK fans will travel to Volos for this midweek game in their bid to offer their team an extra boost from the stands, and they are expected to watch an entertaining duel. As many as 42 goals have been scored in the last 12 matches between Volos and AEK. This is an average of 3.5 goals per game, which means than over 2.5 at 1.8 is certainly a value bet.
Panathinaikos v OFI
An Aias Aosman goal with six minutes to go in the game against Ionikos forced Panathinaikos to drop points for the second time this season. The Greek Super League leaders drew 1-1 away at bottom-placed Ionikos, but they remain unbeaten in 14 games this season and they want to get back to winning ways against an unconvincing OFI side on Wednesday.
No team have conceded fewer goals on home soil than Panathinaikos (2), who have only allowed in goals against reigning champions Olympiacos and second-placed AEK Athens. In fact, Ivan Jovanovic’s men have managed to keep six clean sheets in eight home games, their home support being one of their main advantages this season.
OFI may have netted five times on the road this season, but they have not scored a single goal away at a Big-4 side (Olympiacos, Panathinaikos, AEK, PAOK) in three games this year. The Heraklion-based side have not celebrated a single goal away at Panathinaikos in three matches and this scenario sounds more than possible for Wednesday’s duel.
Panathinaikos will welcome back his starting centre-back Bart Schenkeveld, who missed the Ionikos clash through injury, and Jovanovic is aware that their impressive run this season would not be possible without their solid defence.
Panathinaikos will prioritise to keep another clean sheet in order to avoid another surprising result in their bid to go all the way to their first league title since 2010.
As for OFI, they have failed to find the back of the net in three of their last five games away from home. Valdas Dambrauskas’ side will sit deep in their bid to avoid conceding against a struggling Panathinaikos attack, but they don’t have what it takes to threaten a healthy Panathinaikos defence.
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