AEK Athens vs AjaxUEFA Europa League, KO: 17:45 Oct 5, 2023, OPAP Arena
AEK Athens will be looking to build on a win at Brighton as they welcome Ajax to OPAP Arena for a Europa League Group B fixture. The Dutch side have plenty of problems both on and off the pitch and AEK appear well equipped to take full advantage.
AEK Athens claimed a 3-2 victory over English side Brighton & Hove Albion in their opening Group B fixture. Goals from Djibril Sidibe, Mijat Gacinovic and Ezequiel Ponce gave them the win in a thrilling back and forth encounter.
That result highlights AEK Athens’ good form as they are unbeaten in five of their last six matches, claiming four wins in that run. However, their only defeat came last weekend as they were beaten 2-0 by OFI in a Greek Super League fixture.
Despite that defeat, AEK Athens will head into Thursday’s fixture in confident mood, particularly as they often do their best work at home. Mathias Almeyda’s men are unbeaten in five of their last six matches at OPAP Arena but have kept just one clean sheet in that run.
Ajax played out a thrilling 3-3 draw in their opening fixture in the Europa League. Early goals from Carlos Forbs and Steven Berghuis were canceled out by the French side while they also failed to hold on after taking the lead again in the second half.
It has been a turbulent campaign for Ajax, who have had problems both on and off the field and are currently hovering around the relegation zone in the Eredivisie. Maurice Steijn’s men are winless in their last four matches across all competitions, although they were leading 3-2 at RKC Waalwijk at the weekend before the game was abandoned after the hosts goalkeeper was knocked unconscious.
Among the on-field problems for Ajax is a lack of discipline at the back having conceded 10 goals in their last three concluded matches. They also suffered a 3-1 defeat at Twente in their previous away fixture.
How the bookies view it
AEK Athens have the upper hand among the bookies and are priced at 6/5 by Unibet to claim the win. A victory for Ajax is valued at 11/5 by BoyleSports while William Hill is offering odds of 27/10 for a draw.
Head to head
Both teams met during the group stage of the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League with Ajax doing the double over the Greek side. The Dutch giants claimed a 3-0 win at home before picking up a 2-0 victory in the reverse fixture.
Players to watch
Ezequiel Ponce is usually heavily involved in AEK Athens’ attacking play and could be worth keeping an eye on. The attacker was on target in the opening fixture and is priced at 19/10 by William Hill to find the net on Thursday.
Brian Brobbey has impressed for Ajax this season and will be the one to watch on Thursday. The forward has three goals the last four away matches and is priced at 13/5 by William Hill to maintain its scoring run.
Anything else catch the eye?
Each team saw over 4.5 goals in their opening Group B fixtures and could be set for a repeat at 19/5 by BetVictor. Over 3.5 goals could also be considered at 13/8 by William Hill, who is also offering odds of 4/6 for over 2.5 goals.
AEK Athens and Ajax often make fast starts, so both teams could be backed to score in the first half at 27/10 with Coral.
This UEFA Europa League match between AEK Athens and Ajax will be played on Oct 5, 2023 and kick off at 17:45. Check below for our tipsters best AEK Athens vs Ajax prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.