MX23RW : Thursday, January 28 16:32:09| >> :600:4208344:4208344:
Nov 26, 2020 at 5.55pm UK at Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis
AEK AthensAEK Athens
0-3
LuhanskZorya Luhansk

Shakhov (43'), Tankovic (49'), Simoes (55'), Svarnas (70')
Shakhov (49')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Gromov (61'), Kabaiev (76'), Yurchenko (85' pen.)
Vernydub (49'), Kochergin (73')

Preview: AEK Athens vs. Zorya Luhansk - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League clash between AEK Athens and Zorya Luhansk, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

AEK Athens host Zorya Luhansk in the Europa League on Thursday night at the Athens Olympic Stadium.

After rolling over Larissa 4-1 in the national championship, AEK will be looking to keep their Europa League knockout stage hopes alive when they host Luhansk.

Meanwhile, Luhansk will come into this fixture off the back of three defeats in Europe and will be looking to salvage some pride away in Athens.


Match preview

AEK Athens players celebrate scoring against Zorya Luhansk on November 5, 2020© Reuters

The Yellow-Blacks face a must-win situation on Thursday if they are to have any chance of catching Braga to steal that second qualifying spot.

Therefore, AEK are likely to go all guns blazing at the Ukrainian outfit to get them back in amongst the group leaders.

AEK sealed a comfortable victory in the reverse fixture winning 4-1, scoring four goals in European competition for the first time since December 2002, which came against Maccabi Haifa in the UEFA Cup.

A win for the Greek side would also mean wins in consecutive matches in a single major European competition for the first time since their Champions League campaign in 2006.

To do that, they will need to overcome poor home form, as they are currently winless in 13 home matches in major European competition since beating Hajduk Split in this competition in September 2010.

Zorya Luhansk head coach Viktor Skripnik shouts during a Europa League game in October 2020© Reuters

Luhansk have not had a great start to their Europa League campaign, losing all three matches and conceding nine goals in that time.

Viktor Skrypnyk's men have also lost each of their last six matches in the Europa League, scoring only twice while conceding a total of 15 goals in that time.

Luhansk will be hoping that Vladyslav Kochergin can turn shots into goals, after taking 13 shots so far during the group stages this campaign, almost twice as many as any teammate. He has scored one of their two goals so far, the other coming from Dmytro Ivanisenya.

Fortunately for Luhansk, they are starting to show some domestic form that they can fall back on, as they are unbeaten in their last five, securing one win in that time.

AEK Athens Europa League form: LLW
AEK Athens form (all competitions): LWLWWW

Zorya Luhansk Europa League form: LLL
Zorya Luhansk form (all competitions): DDWDLD


Team News

AEK Athens players celebrate scoring against Leicester City in. the Europa League in October 2020© Reuters

Iran international Karim Ansarifard is pushing for a start after scoring as a substitute in the clash against Larissa at the weekend.

However, Damian Szymanski is likely to miss out again due to an achilles tendon injury.

For Luhansk, Maksym Kazakov is expected to miss out due to a muscular injury.

Aside from Kazakov, Skrypnyk has no fresh injury concerns.

AEK Athens possible starting lineup:
Tsintotas; Svarnas, Chygrynskiy, Nedelcearu, Insua, Vasilantonopoulos; Krsticic, Shakhov, Mantalos; Livaja, Tankovic

Zorya Luhansk possible starting lineup:
Shevchenko; Hanna, Vernydub, Dmytro Khomchenovsky; Ciganiks, Yurchenko, Kochergin, Ivanisenia, Gromov; Lunov, Kabaev


SM words green background

We say: AEK Athens 3-0 Zorya Luhansk

Given the ease in which AEK Athens brushed Luhansk aside in the reverse fixture, we cannot see anything other than a convincing home win to throw the Greek side right back into contention to qualify.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data


ID:423544:cQx

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Leicester City's James Maddison celebrates scoring against Zorya Luhansk in the Europa League on October 22, 2020
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Olympiacos1916304874151
2Aris ThessalonikiAris19123424111339
3AEK AthensAEK Athens1911443021937
4PAOKPAOK19106332181436
5PanathinaikosPanathinaikos19104522121034
6Asteras TripolisAsteras198651919030
7AtromitosAtromitos196671824-624
8Volos195862027-723
9OFI CreteOFI Crete1954101829-1119
10PAS GianninaPAS Giannina194691822-418
11Apollon Smirnis1853101823-518
12PanetolikosPanetolikos192611923-1412
13LamiaLamia1724111030-2010
14AEL LarissaLarissa181512929-208

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