Final Stretch for Superleague Promotion

Final Stretch for Superleague Promotion
 

AGONAsport.com breaks down the three teams fighting for the two promotion places from the Football League with the league standings, schedules, and analysis.

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Four matches remain in the 2016/17 Greek Football League season and the promotion battle is not looking like letting up. The race for the two promotion spots to next year’s Greek SuperLeague looks set to go down to the wire. Three must somehow go into two as Apollon Smyrnis, Lamia, and Aris fight for the two tickets to go up. There are some crucial matches remaining with the match between Lamia and Aris this weekend perhaps the most decisive in determining who gets promoted. 

AGONAsport.com breaks down the three teams fighting for the two promotion places with  the league standings, schedules, and analysis. 


CURRENT STANDINGS (1ST - 3rd)

Rank Team GP Points
1 Apollon Smyrnis 30 76
2 Lamia 30 73
3 Aris 30 67
 

APOLLON SMYRNIS
 

Remaining Matches:
Matchday 31: Trikala (H)
Matchday 32: Aris (A)
Matchday 33: Chania (H)
Matchday 34: Panthrakikos (Apollon awarded 3 points from this match due to Panthrakikos no longer being in league)

Analysis: Three points clear at the top and undefeated this season with 23 wins and 7 draws in their 30 matches, Apollon look set to not only clinch a spot in the SuperLeague for next season, but the heavy favorites to win this season’s Football League. There is still some work to due however. The next two matches, at home to Trikala this weekend, and away to Aris the following week are tricky ties. Those matches will be real tests as the leaders go up against the league’s in-form side and an Aris team who still harbor promotion hopes. If they claim four points from those tough affairs then Apollon should be able to hold on and claim the title. 


LAMIA
 

Remaining Matches:
Matchday 31: Aris (A)
Matchday 32: Panthrakikos (Lamia awarded 3 points from this match due to Panthrakikos no longer being in league).
Matchday 33: Sparti (A)
Matchday 34: Anagenissi Karditsas (H)

Analysis: For Lamia and Aris, so much of their promotion hopes rest on the result of the two teams’ match this weekend. It should be a tense game in Thessaloniki with a draw or Lamia win effectively eliminated Aris from promotion contention. After that match, Lamia get the three points from the Panthrakikos match and finish off with Sparti away and Karditsa at home. The Sparti tie won’t be easy against the Peloponessos club who have lost only twice at home all season. That’s why avoiding defeat at Aris is so important for Lamia as otherwise the pressure would surely be on in the last two games.


ARIS
 

Remaining Matches:
Matchday 31: Lamia (H)
Matchday 32: Apollon Smirnis (H)
Matchday 33: Panthrakikos (Aris awarded 3 points from this match due to Panthrakikos no longer being in league).
Matchday 34: Sparti (H)

Analysis: Aris have arguably the most difficult remaining schedule of the promotion seeking sides as they play the top two in Lamia and Apollon Smyrnis as well as Sparti who are 7th. However, the upside for supporters is all three of those matches are at home where the club have absolutely brilliant this season (13 wins and one draw). In reality though, everything comes down to Sunday’s match against Lamia. Aris need to win that match in order to cut the gap to three points. If they fail to do that then they will have virtually no chance at going up.

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