AEL Larissa vs AEK Athens
Competition: Greece Super League
Date: 16 December 2018
Kick-off: 16:15 CET
AEL Larissa took the lead in Thessaloniki against PAOK last weekend, but seconds before the first half, Nikos Karanikas brought Aleksandar Prijovic down, penalty, red card, 1-1. AEL did their best in the second half, but it was obvious that sooner or later they would concede again, and they did, in the 70th minute. They lost 2-1, staying on 14 points, 11th in the table. On Thursday, they were informed that they were having three points deducted, because of a debt towards a former coach of theirs. They had/have three working days to take care of that, and avoid having the points deducted, after all.
AEK Athens’ target in Lisbon midweek, against Benfica, was rather obvious; keep a clean sheet, earn at least one point in their Champions League group, not finish the group stage with a big “0” next to their “points”. They did a good job until the 88th minute, when Benfica finally scored, seconds after AEK had been left with 10 men. After the game, Marinos Ouzounidis, their coach, told reporters “maybe we were not ready to compete at this level”, meaning the CL group stage. AEK did finish without a single point, but then again, they were in the same group with Bayern Munich, Ajax, and Benfica. What made them look bad was not so much the defeats, the results, as their extremely defensive approach in every single game, even at home. It felt as if all they cared about was not conceding, not getting humiliated, instead of trying to actually show the whole world something, try score, try play less “unpleasant to the eye” football. They are 4th in the Super League table, on 23 points, 12 behind leaders PAOK.
Previous five matches:
PAOK vs AEL Larissa 2-1
AEL Larissa vs Panionios 4-2
Asteras Tripolis vs AEL Larissa 2-0
AEL Larissa vs PAS Giannina 2-0
Levadiakos vs AEL Larissa 1-1
Benfica vs AEK Athens 1-0
AEK Athens vs Lamia 2-0
AEK Athens vs Xanthi 2-0
AEK Athens vs Ajax 0-2
Panetolikos vs AEK Athens 2-1
Larissa’s next game is at Apollon Pontou, on Wednesday. AEK are visiting Volos NFC on Thursday (both Greece Cup matches).
AEL Larissa vs AEK Athens: Head to head Stats
One win for AEL, three for AEK, and a draw, in the last five games between these two in Larissa.
AEL Larissa vs AEK Athens: Prediction
AEK are considered big favorites to win the game, but I’m going against the odds, backing the hosts to earn a point.
AEL Larissa vs AEK Athens: Betting Tips
AEL’s double chance is at 2.30. Obviously, a draw feels more probable than an AEL win, but even 2.30 is good enough, I reckon, to avoid taking an even bigger risk.