AEK Athens vs AntwerpUEFA Champions League, KO: 20:00 Aug 30, 2023, OPAP Arena
Antwerp hold a slim advantage as they travel to AEK Athens for their UEFA Champions League playoff second leg. The Belgian side have shown some quality in recent weeks and can do enough to earn a draw in Greece.
AEK Athens have a slim deficit to climb out of after suffering a 1-0 defeat in Belgium in last week’s first leg. They conceded early in the encounter and despite dominating the possession and playing against 10 men for much of the second half, could not find a way back into the contest.
While manager Matias Almeyda will be disappointed AEK Athens did not capitalise on their advantage, the result is consistent with their showings in recent weeks. They head into Wednesday’s clash winless in their last three matches, conceding five goals in that run.
AEK Athens will be hoping for a turnaround in front of their fans, although they have not been particularly convincing at OPAP Arena lately. They have drawn their last two home matches, playing out a 2-2 scoreline with Dinamo Zagreb in the previous round of the Champions League before being held 1-1 by Panserraikos in a Super League fixture last weekend.
Antwerp put up a solid defensive display to earn the 1-0 win in the first meeting in Belgium. They struck early through Vincent Janssen and despite playing much of the second half with 10 men, managed to hold on for the win.
The Belgian side are attempting to make their first ever appearance in the group stage of the Champions League and only have to avoid defeat on Wednesday to secure a place. Mark Van Bommel’s men will travel to Greece with some confidence having suffered just one defeat in their last five matches, claiming three wins in that run.
A slight problem for Antwerp is their unconvincing record on their travels having won just once in their last five away matches. However, their previous fixture on the road was a 1-1 draw with OH Leuven in a Belgian First Division clash.
How the bookies view it
Head to head
Prior to last week’s first leg, the only previous meeting between both teams was a friendly in July which ended 3-0 in favour of AEK Athens.
Players to watch
Sergio Araujo was one of the culprits for AEK Athens in the first leg and will be keen to make up for the missed chances. The forward is priced at 7/4 by bet365 to get on the score sheet on Wednesday.
Vincent Janssen continued his fine start to the season by scoring the only goal in the first meeting. The striker now has five goals in the last three matches and is priced at 15/8 by bet365 to maintain his scoring run.
Anything else catch the eye?
AEK Athens saw over 3.5 goals in their previous home fixture in the qualifiers and Wednesday’s clash can be tipped to produce a similar outcome at 12/5 with William Hill who is also offering evens for over 2.5 goals. Both teams can also be tipped to score at 5/6 with 10bet.
There have been more goals after the break in two of AEK Athens’ last three Champions League matches and Wednesday’s clash could be set to follow a similar outcome at evens with Paddy Power.
This UEFA Champions League match between AEK Athens and Antwerp will be played on Aug 30, 2023 and kick off at 20:00. Check below for our tipsters best AEK Athens vs Antwerp prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.