Brighton and Hove Albion - AEK Athens predictions and free betting tips [21/09/2023]
On Thursday, 21st September, as part of the 1st round of the Europa League group stage, Brighton will host AEK at home. The "Seagulls" secured a coveted cup berth by finishing sixth in the Premier League last season, while the visitors fell out of the Champions League qualifiers, losing to Antwerp over the two-game aggregate.
Brighton: Verbruggen; Veltman, Van Hecke, Dunk, Lamptey; Dahoud, Gross; Adingra, Pedro, Fati; Ferguson.
AEK: Stankovic; Rota, Mitoglou, Moukoudi, Mohammadi; Eliasson, Szymanski, Jonsson, Amrabat; Araujo, Ponce.
The clash will take place in Brighton at the Amex Stadium.
Brighton, under the leadership of Roberto De Zerbi who took over mid-season from Graham Potter, finished 6th in the last Premier League campaign, notching up 49 points and beating Aston Villa to the final Europa League spot. The English club has been drawn into a tough group for their tournament debut, facing not only AEK but also Marseille and Ajax. With four victories in five starts of the national championship, the pupils of the Italian specialist are currently sitting at 5th place in the league table. Wins of 4:1 have been registered against Wolverhampton and Luton, in addition to victories over Newcastle (3:1) and Manchester United just last weekend (1:3) thanks to goals by Danny Welbeck, Pascal Gross, and Joao Pedro. As a result, the "seagulls" have already scored 15 goals and continue to be a prominent force on the British Isles. During the summer transfer window, the team saw the exits of Mac Allister, Caicedo, and first keeper Sanchez.
The Athens club clinched a spot in the third round of the Champions League qualifiers following a triumphant campaign in the Greek Super League, where they won their 13th championship title, edging out Panathinaikos. What's more, AEK impressed experts during their pre-season preparation, securing landslide victories over Shakhtar (5:0), Antwerp (3:0), and Trabzonspor (3:1) in friendlies, as well as defeating Dinamo Zagreb (4:3 on aggregate) in the Europa League qualifiers. However, in the decisive round of the qualifying tournament, Antwerp overcame the Greeks (1:3), sending them straight to the EL. The Yellow-Blacks are doing well in the championship: they beat Volos 2:3 away two weeks ago thanks to a Nordin Amrabat's goal, and then drew 1:1 with Olympiacos last weekend, taking the lead with a goal by Ezequiel Ponce.
The two sides have never met in history.
Match Prediction for Brighton - AEK
Brighton should be able to easily collect all three points in their maiden European cup tie. After a reassuring start to the season and delivering vibrant offensive play under the managements of De Zerbi, the hosts look confident. While AEK dominates in the Greek league, they failed to surpass even Antwerp in the CL qualifiers - a club significantly inferior to their current adversary. My prediction is a victory for the "Seagulls" with a handicap of -1.5.
Brighton scored seven goals in the last three matches. With such attackers as Mitoma, March, Fati, and Ferguson, the hosts are bound to delight the home crowd with at least three goals on Thursday.
Brighton will have the initiative from the outset and will regularly pose threats at AEK's goal, while the Greeks will rely on occasional counterattacks. I'm putting my bet on a Brighton victory with a corner handicap of -1.5.
Yellow Card Prediction
AEK will need to foul frequently to disrupt the tempo of the "Seagulls'" attacks. So I'm betting on their victory in terms of yellow cards.
My prediction for the exact score is a 4:1 win in favour of Brighton.