Our prediction for this Europa League match:
After rolling over Larissa 4-1 in the national championship, AEK will be looking to keep their Europa League knockout stages hopes alive when they host Zorya at their Olympic Stadium of Athens “Spiros Louis”. The Yellow-Blacks face a must-win situation in Thursday’s football match, and we are positive that they will go all guns blazing at the Ukrainian outfit. Iran international Ansarifard is pushing for a start after scoring as a substitute in the clash against Larissa at the weekend.
Zorya do not seem to be competitive at this level, with the team suffering a loss in each of their first three group games, and we do not believe that they are capable of matching the high-flying Greeks in Athens. When the two teams met in Zaporizhia three weeks ago AEK recorded a routine 4-1 win over Zorya, which is yet another reason why home win should be considered.
Highlighted Player (Petros Mantalos):
Petros Mantalos is a Greece international who plays for AEK Athens as a midfielder. Mantalos was born in Komotini, Greece on August 31, 1991, starting his youth career at Xanthi. Speaking of his senior career, the right-footed midfielder played for Skoda Xanthi before joining AEK Athens in 2014.
Mantalos has established himself as a first-team regular at AEK and he played an important role in the team that won the national championship in the 2017/2018 season. To make things even better for the fans, AEK Athens booked their place in the Champions League thanks to a win over Celtic in the play-off.
Petros Mantalos made his international debut with Greece on September 7, 2014 against Romania. The AEK midfielder scored his first ever goal for the Greece national football team in a 2-1 win over Australia in June, 2016. His main position is attacking midfielder, but he is capable of playing as both central and left midfielder as well.
Highlighted Team (Zorya):
Zorya are a professional football club that compete in the Ukrainian Premier League. The club was founded in 1923 and in 1972 they won Soviet Top League. Speaking of competitions in Ukraine, Zorya made it to the cup final in the 2015/2016 season, with the team losing to Shakhtar Donetsk (0-2) in the title game.
Despite suffering the loss to the Miners in the Ukrainian Cup final, Zorya made it to the Europa League group stages. It has to be noted that the Ukrainian team played out a 1-1 draw with Fenerbahce on their debut in the group stages of the European competition. Slavutych Arena has been the home ground of the club since 2014 and you should bear in mind that they played at Avanhard Stadium from 1951 to 2014.
Before the World War II Zorya played their home games at Lenin Stadium. The club’s home colours are black and white. Anatoliy Kuksov is the club’s most capped players, making 517 appearances for Zorya in all competitions.