MX23RW : Saturday, January 9 02:20:27| >> :600:121831:121831:
Dec 3, 2020 at 5.55pm UK at Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis
AEK AthensAEK Athens
Oliveira (31'), Vasilantonopoulos (89')
Vasilantonopoulos (58'), Insua (70'), Mantalos (74')
FT(HT: 1-3)
Tormena (8'), Esgaio (10'), Horta (45'), Galeno (83')
Viana (30'), Elmusrati (50'), Castro (74'), Esgaio (74')

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

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

Braga travel to Greece to face AEK Athens knowing that victory will guarantee their place in the Europa League last 32.

Meanwhile, AEK head into Thursday's encounter looking to produce a better performance than they did in the 3-0 reverse to their next opponents on matchday one.

Match preview

Braga's Paulinho celebrates scoring against Leicester City in the Europa League on November 26, 2020© Reuters

For large parts of last week's fixture with Leicester City, Braga boss Carlos Carvalhal would have anticipated reaching matchday five level on points with the group leaders.

However, the Portuguese outfit conceded a lead to their English opponents on three occasions, the last of which occurred in the fifth minute of added-on time.

While the 3-3 draw allowed Leicester to secure their place in the knockout rounds, Braga were also able to move four points clear of the chasing pack.

Carvalhal and his squad will acknowledge that they may have to settle for a runners-up spot at best, and avoiding defeat on Thursday would force Zorya Luhansk to win their remaining two matches.

Despite failing to impress on the domestic scene this season, Paulinho has contributed three goals and one assist in this competition.

As far as AEK Athens are concerned, they must find a way to respond to last week's surprising 3-0 defeat at home to Luhansk, whose goals all came after the hour mark.

The capitulation was completely unexpected, but AEK will be relieved that they still remain ahead of the Ukrainian side due to their head-to-head record.

Massimo Carrera will be aware of the challenge which awaits his side with a victory away at Leicester City also required to finish in second spot.

Nevertheless, four successive wins on the domestic front has kept AEK trending in the right direction, and they will feel capable of causing a surprise in the capital on Thursday night.

AEK Athens Europa League form: LLWL
AEK Athens form (all competitions): LWWWLW

Braga Europa League form: WWLD
Braga form (all competitions): WLWWDW

Team News

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

AEK will have to do without Yevhen Shakhov, who was dismissed for two yellow cards in their last fixture.

Petros Mandalos could be brought into the side in his place, while former Swansea City and Norwich City forward Nelson Oliveira is pushing for a start in attack.

David Carmo is back in contention for Braga after a ban for three yellow cards kept him out of the game with Leicester.

Ricardo Horta may be recalled to the starting XI, potentially as a replacement for sibling Andre Horta.

AEK Athens possible starting lineup:
Athanasiadis; Nedelcearu, Chygrynskiy, Svarnas; Bakakis, Mandalos, Krsticic, Simoes, Zapata; Livaja, Tankovic

Braga possible starting lineup:
Matheus; Tormena, Carmo, Viana; Esagaio, Musrati, Castro, Galeno; Medeiros, R.Horta; Paulinho

SM words green background

We say: AEK Athens 1-3 Braga

While Braga were naturally left stunned by Leicester's triple comeback last week, it should not have any lingering effects as they bid to progress through to the next stage. The hosts have already conceded nine goals in Group G, and we expect Braga to inflict more misery on their hosts.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at 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


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Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers pictured on November 22, 2020
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