BREAKDOWN: Race for Superleague Playoffs

BREAKDOWN: Race for Superleague Playoffs

The playoff race this season is one of the best the SuperLeague has had since the current format came into effect in 2007. 7 teams have a realistic shot at claiming one of the four playoff places. Panionios and PAOK are the favorites to land spots at this point followed by Panathinaikos. That leaves four teams fighting it out for 5th place and the final playoff berth.

AGONAsport breaks down the points and each team’s remaining schedule as well as analysis for each club below.


CURRENT STANDINGS (2nd - 8th)

Rank Team GP Points
2 Panionios 23 45
3 PAOK 23 43
4 Panathinaikos 23 41
5 Xanthi 23 39
6 AEK 23 37
7 Platanias 23 35
8 Atromitos 23 35

panionios
 

Remaining Matches:
Matchday 24: Larisa (H)
Matchday 25: PAOK (A)
Matchday 26: Atromitos (H)
Matchday 27: Panathinaikos (A)
Matchday 28: Platanias (H)
Matchday 29: Kerkyra (A)
Matchday 30: Levadiakos (H)

Analysis: Panionios have tough away matches left against Panathinaikos and PAOK, however on paper and on current form this schedule does not seem daunting enough to see them fall out of the playoff places. With four home games remaining, the Nea Smyrni will believe they can not only clinch a top 5 position, but also hold on to 2nd place.


paok
 

Remaining Matches:
Matchday 24: AEK (A)
Matchday 25: Panionios (H)
Matchday 26: Larisa (H)
Matchday 27: Atromitos (A)
Matchday 28: Panathinaikos (H)
Matchday 29: Platanias (A)
Matchday 30: Kerkyra (H)

Analysis: PAOK’s run-in isn’t as straightforward as Panionios’. Vladan Ivic sees his team with the tough task of taking one three of the league’s top six in the coming weeks in the form of AEK, Panionios, and Panathinaikos. The good news though is after taking on AEK away this coming weekend, the matches against Panionios and PAO are at home.


panathinaikos
 

Remaining Matches:
Matchday 24: Iraklis (A)
Matchday 25: Olympiacos (H)
Matchday 26: AEK (A)
Matchday 27: Panionios (H)
Matchday 28: PAOK (A)
Matchday 29: Atromitos (H)
Matchday 30: Larisa (H)
 

Analysis: After face a potentially tricky trip to Iraklis this weekend, Panathinaikos have a mountain to climb in the coming weeks. Between Matchdays 25-28, the Prasini face Olympiacos, AEK, Panionios, and PAOK all in successive matches. Their performances in that stretch will likely determine whether they can climb higher than 4th where they are at the moment or even stay in the race at all. 


xanthi
 

Remaining Matches:
Matchday 24: Kerkyra (A)
Matchday 25: Levadiakos (H)
Matchday 26: PAS Giannina (A)
Matchday 27: Panetolikos (H)
Matchday 28: Asteras Tripolis (A)
Matchday 29: Larisa (A)
Matchday 30: Veria (H)
 

Analysis: Xanthi have the best schedule of all the remaining playoff contenders. Razvan Lucescu’s team does not face off against any top six team in their last seven matches. In fact, the highest-ranked team Xanthi have left on their schedule is against 9th-placed PAS Giannina on Matchday 26. Xanthi will be favorites to claim a spot in the top 5 if they can do the business against a smattering of midtable and relegation-threatened sides.


aek
 

Remaining Matches:
Matchday 24: PAOK (H)
Matchday 25: Atromitos (A)
Matchday 26: Panathinaikos (H)
Matchday 27: Platanias (A)
Matchday 28: Kerkyra (H)
Matchday 29: Levadiakos (A)
Matchday 30: PAS Giannina (A)
 

Analysis: AEK’s run-in is far from easy. However, Kitrinomavri supporters will be buoyed by the fact that their two toughest matches come in the next few weeks and both of those, against PAOK and Panathinaikos, will be at home. An away trip to Platanias (Matchday 27) is always tough and AEK do face the prospect of three of their last four matches away from home. For a side that has won only two away matches this season, AEK must improve in their travels in order to finish in the top 5.


platanias
 

Remaining Matches:
Matchday 24: Veria (H)
Matchday 25: Iraklis (H)
Matchday 26: Olympiacos (A)
Matchday 27: AEK (H)
Matchday 28: Panionios (A)
Matchday 29: PAOK (H)
Matchday 30: Atromitos (A)
 

Analysis: Platanias begin their remaining schedule with winnable home ties against Veria and Iraklis. Things get tougher however after that with Olympiacos and Panionios away mixed in with matches against AEK and PAOK at home. Four home games remaining will be music to the ears of supporters, however this is a tough schedule to end the season and Platanias will have to hit superb form to surprise observers and claim 5th place..


atromitos
 

Remaining Matches:
Matchday 24: Olympiacos (A)
Matchday 25: AEK (H)
Matchday 26: Panionios (A)
Matchday 27: PAOK (H)
Matchday 28: Larisa (H)
Matchday 29: Panathinaikos (A)
Matchday 30: Platanias (H)
 

Analysis: Currently four points off the playoffs, Atromitos have done well to even get into contention as Ricardo Sa Pinto has sparked a revival since his January return to the club. The good times might just end here for Atromitos though this season because they face a daunting final seven matches. Atromitos take on five of the league’s top six sides in the coming weeks. It seems to be a real stretch to think they will make up that four point gap when games against Olympiacos, AEK, Panionios, and PAOK represent their next four fixtures.

 
by: Giorgos Tsitsonis. Contact the writer at tsitsonisg.agonasport@gmail.com
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