Panetolikos vs AEK Athens
Competition: Greece Cup
Date: 20 December 2017
Kick-off: 18:30 CET
If there is someone at Panetolikos secretly hoping to go all the way to the Cup semis, let alone the final, I would call him “unrealistic”, but even so, they could have definitely drawn with a more… manageable opponent. As if getting AEK wasn’t enough, they have the return leg in Athens, just to make their almost impossible mission practically literally impossible. Last week they drew 0-0 at Asteras, a result that would have looked perfectly normal at the start of the season, but not now. Now, it was a big surprise, because Asteras had been flying from one win to another for several weeks. Panetolikos have managed to keep just one clean sheet at home this season in the Super League, and that was back in September. To hold AEK to nil, they will need to play possibly their best game, defensively, in this first half of the season.
AEK players must still be banging their heads against some wall after failing to beat lowly Apollon Smyrnis at home last weekend. Those two points they dropped made all the difference in the table, depriving them of the unofficial title of “winter champions”. They fell second, a single point behind leaders Olympiakos, and even have company at second, PAOK, with whom they are level on points. Coach Jimenez is expected to play some of his reserves, having the “luxury” of hosting Panetolikos in the second leg, just in case something… goes wrong in Agrinio. As for how that surprising 0-0 happened last weekend, Apollon’s new coach, Paraschos, gave the best answer, saying “we played anti-football, we really needed that point”. The visitors parked two buses in front of their goal, making it really-really difficult to AEK to find a… tiny hole to squeeze the ball through to the net.
Previous five matches:
Asteras vs Panetolikos 0-0
Panetolikos vs Olympiakos 1-4
Lamia vs Panetolikos 2-2
Ergotelis vs Panetolikos 0-5
Panetolikos vs AEL Larissa 3-1
AEK vs Apollon 0-0
AEK vs Kerkyra 3-1
Austria Vienna vs AEK 0-0
Levadiakos vs AEK 0-2
Kallithea vs AEK 2-3
Next game for both teams is their Super League match on January 6, when Panetolikos will, again, host AEK in Agrinio.
Panetolikos vs AEK Athens: Head to head Stats
The previous two seasons Panetolikos beat AEK at home, 3-2 and 1-0. Before that, they hadn’t hosted them in an official match since 2011. That game ended in a 2-0 AEK win.
Panetolikos vs AEK Athens: Prediction
AEK are considered clear favourites to win the game, but… given that they won’t play with their best possible 11, and that there is a second leg for them back home, I’m willing to gamble with Panetolikos’ double chance.
Panetolikos vs AEK Athens: Betting Tips
Panetolikos’ double chance pays 2.05, better than AEK’s win alone (1.72). I consider it satisfying enough to avoid risking further with number of goals.
More Greece Cup betting tips and match previews: