SLGR Matchday 17 Preview: The Top Four Favored In Weekend Encounters
GREEK SUPERLEAGUE - MATCHDAY 17
|Date||Home Team||Time||Away Team|
|13-Jan-18||Apollon Smyrnis||10:15 AM||Panionios|
|14-Jan-18||Asteras Tripolis||10:15 AM||Larissa|
|14-Jan-18||AEK||12:30 PM||PAS Giannina|
AGONAsport’s George Tsitsonis brings you a full preview for matchday 17 of the Greek SuperLeague.
Another weekend without a big derby, but still with some interesting fixtures in the 2017/18 Greek Super League. Matchday 17 lacks the major contest, but with four teams at the top separated by only two points, this year’s title race means every weekend involves interest.
None of the top four sides, Olympiacos, AEK, PAOK, and Atromitos play until Sunday. The action kicks off on Saturday with a trio of matches scheduled. The weekend opens up with Platanias desperately seeking points away to Xanthi. The Crete side are almost surefire bets for the drop with only six points thus far. Xanthi on the other hand is still in with a shot at a European place.
Later on in the day, Panionios travel to take on Apollon Smyrni. This is similar to the Xanthi-Panionios match-up in that it involves teams who are battling for a Europa League berth next season (Panionios) or fighting to avoid the drop (Apollon).
Saturday’s late game features two of the league most miserable sides at the moment. Levadiakos and Panathinaikos meet up in Levadia hoping to pick up a result to bring back some momentum. Both sides are in poor form in the league and they were both knocked out of the Greek Cup during midweek matches.
Sunday begins with PAOK’s trip to Kerkyra. It will be a test of PAOK’s abilities away from home, but they are the heavy favorites based on league placing and form. Kerkyra meanwhile would do well to grab even a draw, such are their difficulties currently as they sit second from the bottom in the table.
A midtable match-up of two teams who have rebounded well since troubled starts to the campaign takes place in Tripoli. Asteras host Larisa in a clash of two teams who were thought to be relegation candidates, but who instead are in the conversation of the final European spot.
Atromitos are in action on Saturday with a home tie against Panetolikos. It’s a straightforward fixture at first glance, but Panetolikos are they type of team that can cause problems on their away.
Sunday night features the AGONAsport Match of The Week which is none other than AEK versus PAS Giannina at the Olympic Stadium in Athens. PAS do not really harbor hopes of a return to the Europa League, but could climb up the standings with the three points. AEK meanwhile are in the thick of real title race. Winning the match is of the utmost importance in order to keep up the pace with Olympiacos, PAOK, and Atromitos.
Finally on Monday, league leaders Olympiacos await the arrival of Lamia. The latter have done extraordinarily well since being promoted to the Super League for the first time this season. Lamia should avoid relegation judging by their play 16 matches in. This will be a massive test for them though against Olympiacos, for whom Oscar Garcia takes his place on the bench in his first league match as manager. It could also be the league return of Kevin Mirallas, with the Belgian back to Piraeus for the second time, on loan for the rest of the season.