MX23RW : Monday, November 30 00:51:48| >> :120:15526:15526:
Oct 29, 2020 at 5.55pm UK at Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis
AEK AthensAEK Athens
1-2
LeicesterLeicester City
Tankovic (49')
Mantalos (21'), Krsticic (59'), Insua (73')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Vardy (18' pen.), Choudhury (39')
Thomas (78')

Preview: AEK Athens vs. Leicester City - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League fixture between AEK Athens and Leicester City, including team news and predicted lineups.

Leicester City travel to Greece to face AEK Athens on Thursday evening looking to build on their opening victory in the Europa League.

The Foxes started their Group G campaign with a convincing win against Zorya Luhansk, while their next opponents succumbed tamely away at Braga.


Match preview

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers pictured in September 2020© Reuters

With several members of his squad sustaining injuries and surprise home defeats coming against West Ham United and Aston Villa, the start of the season has not been as smooth as Brendan Rodgers would have hoped.

However, back-to-back wins over Zorya and Arsenal without conceding a goal has lifted the mood at Leicester, who now sit in fourth position in the Premier League table.

Rodgers will prioritise their progress in England's top flight over the Europa League, but that will not stop the Northern Irishman demanding another professional performance later this week.

The Foxes boss could take the opportunity to hand a first start to winger Cengiz Under after the Turkey international provided the assist for Jamie Vardy's winner at the Emirates Stadium.

While the 23-year-old has been kept in reserve for now, the Roma loanee could emerge as a key player as the season progresses with Rodgers needing to manage the fitness of his squad.

Despite only claiming third place in the Greek Superliga in the past two seasons, AEK Athens would have been optimistic about having a prolonged run in this competition when they discovered their opponents for the group stages.

Losing heavily to Braga may have changed their belief, however, and head coach Massimo Carrera will acknowledge that the club can ill-afford another defeat at this stage.

Nevertheless, AEK have been poor of late, with their only victory in four matches coming by a 1-0 scoreline at PAS Giannina on Sunday.

Carrera will understandably be concerned about the development of his side since their famous win over Wolfsburg in the final qualifying round, but that result is a reminder that they have the quality to compete with higher-class opponents on their day.

AEK Athens Europa League form: WWL
AEK Athens form (all competitions): WWLDLW

Leicester City Europa League form: W
Leicester City form (all competitions): LWLLWW


Team News

Leicester City's Jamie Vardy celebrates scoring against Arsenal in the Premier League on October 25, 2020© Reuters

While Vardy has been included in the travelling group, Leicester boss Rodgers may keep his star man in reserve.

That should lead to Kelechi Iheanacho leading the line, while Ayoze Perez and Marc Albrighton could also be handed a start.

Wes Morgan may be given a rare opportunity in the middle of the backline with Jonny Evans dropping down to the substitutes' bench.

AEK will be without injured trio Andre Simoes, Levi Garcia and Damian Szymanski for this fixture.

Former Swansea City and Norwich forward Nelson Oliveira is pushing for a start in attack.

AEK Athens possible starting lineup:
Tsintotas; Paulinho, Chygrynskiy, Svarnas, Lopes; Mantalos, Shakhov, Krsticic; Tankovic, Ansarifard, Livaja

Leicester City possible starting lineup:
Schmeichel; Justin, Fofana, Morgan, Fuchs; Choudhury, Praet; Under, Perez, Albrighton; Iheanacho


SM words green background

We say: AEK Athens 1-2 Leicester City

With Rodgers expected to rotate a number of his senior players, a closely-fought contest could be played out in Greece. However, victory in this contest would put Leicester well on the way to qualification, and we expect a professional performance from the English side.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win 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.Home/Away:data

ID:419928:cQx

Who will win Thursday's Europa League clash between AEK Athens and Leicester City?

AEK Athens
Draw
Leicester City
AEK Athens
0.0%
Draw
0.0%
Leicester City
0.0%
0
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Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers pictured on July 1, 2020
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Leicester season preview - predictions, fixtures, summer signings, starting XI
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