Our football match prediction:
Over the years Athletic Club have established themselves as one of the best teams in Spanish La Liga and they have been playing an important role in European competitions as well. The Basque outfit set up a meeting with Panathinaikos in the Europa League play-offs by beating Dinamo Bucharest in the two-legged tie, but many people expected that they would have a big fish to fry in Thursday’s football match against the Greek side. However, the Lions came from two goals behind to beat Panathinaikos (3-2) in the capital of Greece and they are now with one foot in the Europa League group stages. It is well known that Athletic Club are a real force to be reckoned with at home and we predict that in-form attacker Aritz Aduriz is going to prove a handful for the opposition defenders. Taking everything into account, there is a big value in betting on the La Liga side.
Highligted Player (Iker Muniain):
Iker Munian was once considered one of the most talented players in Spain, but he obviously failed to reach his full potential. Munian is an attacking midfielder, who is capable of playing as a forward as well and he began his youth career at Chantrea. In 2005 he made probably the best decision of his career as he joined Athletic Bilbao youth academy. He made his debut for Athletic Bilbao on 30 July, 2009 in a 1-0 loss to Young Boys in the Europa League. Iker Munian impressed in the 2011/2012 La Liga campaign with the Lions, scoring nine goals in all competitions, but he failed to make a bigger progress. The Athletic Bilbao product has been struggling with injuries and it has to be noted that the injury he suffered against Sevilla on 4 April, 2015 could have ruined his career. However, he returned to action on 20 December, but he was playing below expectations in the second half of the season. Iker Munian made his Spain debut on 29 February, 2012 in a friendly against Venezuela. La Roja won the match 5-0 and Munian came as a substitute in the 74th minute of the match.
Highlighted Team (Panathinaikos):
Despite being founded on 3 February, 1908, Panathinaikos won their first domestic trophy in 1930. However, they quickly established themselves as one of the biggest clubs in Greece. Oi Prasinoi clinched their 20th Greek Superleague trophy in 2010, with the team finishing the season six points clear of their fiercest rivals Olympiakos. There have always been fireworks in meetings between the two capital clubs and the clash between the two sides is well known as the “Derby of eternal enemies”. According to UEFA Panathinaikos are the second most-popular team football team in Greece. Speaking of the club’s European success, PAO made it to the 1970/1971 European Cup (Champions League) final, but Ajax proved to be a big catch for the Greek side in the title game. It is well known that green trifolium (shamrock) is the club’s emblem. Giorgos Karagounis, Djibril Cisse, Emmanuel Olisadebe, Paulo Sousa and Goran Vlaovic are notable footballers who played for PAO in the past. Giourkas Seitaridis, Antonis Nikopolidis, Kostas Chalkias, Angelos Basinas, Giannis Goumas and Dimitris Papdopoulos are Panathinaikos players who helped Greece win the 2004 European Championship trophy.