SLGR Matchday 9 Preview: Greek Football’s Biggest Derby Takes Center Stage
GREEK SUPERLEAGUE - MATCHDAY 9
|Date||Home Team||Time||Away Team|
|28-Oct-17||PAS Giannina||10:15 AM||Kerkyra|
|29-Oct-17||Panetolikos||11:15 AM||Apollon Smyrnis|
|30-Oct-17||PAOK||1:30 PM||Asteras Tripolis|
AGONAsport’s George Tsitsonis brings you a full preview for matchday 8 of the Greek SuperLeague.
The ‘eternal’ derby between Panathinaikos and Olympiacos takes center stage this weekend in Matchday 9 of the 2017/18 Greek Super League. The two bitter rivals contest a crucial match for both teams that extends long past only purposes of pride.
Panathinaikos have been beset by major financial problems are enduring a very tough campaign. However, Marinos Ouzounidis has kept his team within striking distance of the top five despite the external issues plaguing the club. Olympiacos’ main concerns have been on the pitch, where a bad start to the season has left them off the top of the table. Takis Lemonis has steadied the ship since his arrival with the best evidence of that the team’s 1-0 derby win over PAOK last weekend.
Surprise package Atromitos lead the Super League after eight matches on 16 points. They face a real examination of their strength this weekend in an away trip to Xanthi. Atromitos have taken advantage of sloppy starts to the season for the traditional big sides. The Peristeri side have shown their worth by conceding only three times in their first eight matches, going undefeated thus far.
Second-placed PAOK will try to bounce back from the disappointment of last Sunday’s loss to Olympiacos by hosting Asteras Tripolis in this week’s Monday night match. Should Atromitos slip-up at Xanthi then Razvan Lucescu’s team could reclaim the top spot in the league again with a win. Asteras are enduring another rough start to their season. They currently find themselves in a four-way tie for last place in the league.
Nea Smyrni will be the site of an intriguing clash between Panionios and AEK. Both teams flew out of the gates this season, but have seen their form cooled considerably in recent weeks. Panionios did get back on the winning track last week with an away win at Asteras Tripolis. AEK meanwhile have been in poor form since a magnificent derby win over Olympiacos last month. A defeat last week at home to Atromitos was another indicator that they may well be struggling competing on two fronts.
Three of the four teams in the Super League basement will be seeking wins to that would push them up the table. Larisa open up the weekend by hosting Levadiakos on Saturday. Larisa picked up their first away in the top-flight for seven years by winning at Platanias last week. Levadiakos meanwhile are tied for 3rd in the league having made their best-ever start to a season.
Apollon Smyrnis picked up a 2-0 last weekend over Xanthi. The newly-promoted side will look to make it two in a row as they go to Agrinio to battle with Panetolikos. The home side have lost a series of close games and need to start finding a way to win those tight affairs.
Lamia and Platanias face off on Sunday. Platanias began the season in superb fashion last year, a marked contrast to the current campaign. Giorgos Paraschos’ team have won only one of eight and are struggling at the foot of the table. Lamia meanwhile have shown signs in the last month that they are ready to seriously battle for top-flight safety.
The remaining match of the weekend takes place on Saturday when PAS Giannina and Kerkyra contest a match between midtable sides. These are two sides that are strongest when at home, so PAS will begin as the favorites for the three points as hosts.