AEK vs Olympiakos
Competition: Greek Super League
Date: 19 February 2017
Kick-off: 18:30 CET
Huge game for AEK, not only because they are facing one of their biggest rivals, Olympiakos, but also because they need the points to close the gap between them and 5th placed Xanthi. Participating in the play-offs mini league that will feature the teams from 2nd to 5th, is the absolute minimum for AEK this season. Up until 48 hours before this vastly important game, coach Manolo Jiménez seemed to be facing all sorts of dilemmas. Interestingly, the goalkeeper position is not one of those, despite the serious mistake Barkas made in last week’s 2-2 draw against Iraklis. According to reports, Jiménez is sticking with his 22-year-old keeper. Brazilian defender Rodrigo Galo is almost certain to miss the game due to injury, an important absence for AEK, given that he has featured in almost every single starting lineup this season.
Olympiakos may have already practically secured another Super League title, but a game against AEK is always special, and a win in this specific derby could be that extra morale boost they need to leave behind their 0-0 and below-average Europa League performance against Osmanlispor. Most-most probably, they will be again without their leading goalscorer, Nigerian Ideye, but the good news for coach Paulo Bento is that the knocks midfielders Fortounis and Martins picked up in the game against Osmanlispor are rather insignificant, and they should be able to play.
AEK vs Olympiakos: Head-to-head Stats
Last year, in a game that had three red cards, AEK beat Olympiakos 1-0, and later in the season they beat them again in the Cup Final. Those wins were rather the exception to the rule though, as Olympiakos have dominated their duels with AEK the last 15 years, beating them in every two out of three games they’ve played each other.
AEK vs Olympiakos: Prediction
It’s a derby, not only points but also, maybe even more importantly, bragging rights are at stake, the players of both teams are well aware of the fact that this match means a lot to their fans, so a very tight game is expected, but, everything considered, AEK may have the upper hand, for three reasons. First, they play at home. Second, they got to spend the whole week preparing for this game, while Olympiakos were mostly focused on their Europa League clash with Osmanlispor. Last, AEK need all three points much-much more than Olympiakos, and they should look more motivated than their opponents on the field.
AEK vs Olympiakos: Tips
The points’ gap between AEK and Olympiakos looks and is indeed chaotic, 21 is a huge number, and betting against the team that has those 21 extra points may look like pure madness, but, taking everything under consideration, it may be worth the risk. If you’re after something more conservative, “AEK or draw” could be for you, even though it doesn’t pay not even nearly as well as a straightforward AEK win.