Panathinaikos vs MarseilleUEFA Champions League, KO: 19:00 Aug 9, 2023, Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium
Marseille will be looking to claim the advantage when they travel to Panathinaikos for the first leg of their UEFA Champions League third qualifying round clash. Neither team has shown much defensive solidity in recent weeks which means goals are expected here.
Panathinaikos joined the Champions League qualifiers in the previous round where they saw off Ukrainian side Dnipro 5-3 on aggregate. They claimed a 3-1 victory in the first leg before returning home for a 2-2 draw in the return fixture.
The Greek side are playing in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League for the first time since the 2015-16 season and looking to reach their first group stage since 2009-10. Their recent form has been a big patchy and they head into Wednesday’s clash with just two wins from their last five matches across all competitions.
Major problem for Panathinaikos is a lack of discipline at the back having failed to keep a clean sheet in their last five matches across all competitions. That defensive vulnerability has also been evident at home where Ivan Jovanovic’s men have conceded in their last three matches, failing to secure a single win in that run.
Marseille drew a bye from the previous rounds and are making their first appearance in the Champions League qualifiers. They reached the group stage of the competition last season and will be looking to make another appearance this term.
The French side have been in the middle of preseason where things have not been particularly smooth. Marcelino’s men claimed two wins and suffered two defeats in four warm-up matches, keeping just one clean sheet in that run.
Marseille’s defensive problems have been evident on their travels where they have lost four of their last five away matches, a run stretching back into the final weeks of last season. However, they will be looking to build on a 1-0 victory over Dutch side RKC Waalwijk in their last away match in preseason.
How the bookies view it
Marseille have the upper hand among the bookies and are priced at 11/10 by William Hill. Panathinaikos are considered outsiders at home with bet365 offering 14/5 for a victory while a draw is set at odds of 23/10 by Coral.
Head to head
This will be the first ever meeting between Panathinaikos and Marseille.
Players to watch
Andraz Sporar has impressed for Panathinaikos in the Champions League qualifiers, scoring three goals in the last two matches. The striker could be worth keeping an eye on to maintain his scoring run at 14/5 with William Hill.
Marseille will look to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to provide the spark in attack following a summer move from Chelsea. The striker will be aiming to hit the ground running in his first competitive appearance and is priced at 9/4 by William Hill to get on the score sheet.
Anything else catch the eye?
Neither side has looked solid at the back lately and with Panathinaikos seeing over 3.5 in their last two Champions League matches, a repeat could be on the cards at 5/2 with Betfred. Over 2.5 goals can also be considered at evens with bet365 while William Hill is offering odds of 4/5 on both teams to score.
Panathinaikos have seen more goals after the break in their last two matches and Wednesday’s clash could be tipped to follow a similar pattern at 21/20 with William Hill.
This UEFA Champions League match between Panathinaikos and Marseille will be played on Aug 9, 2023 and kick off at 19:00. Check below for our tipsters best Panathinaikos vs Marseille prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.