Our football match prediction:
All eyes will be on Stadio Apostolos Nikolaidis when Panathinaikos and Athletic Club face each other in the first leg of the Europa League play-offs. PAO are on a five-game winning run ahead of Thursday’s football match and they will be looking to build on back-to-back victories over Gabala when they welcome the La Liga outfit in front of home fans in Athens. Nonetheless, beating the star-studded Lions is easier said than done and we do not believe that there is a big value in betting on the Greeks. Athletic Bilbao are a very experienced side and seeing that coach Jose Angel Ziganda can count on key players for Thursday’s match, we predict that the Basques will emerge triumphant in the first leg. Experienced attacker Aritz Aduriz, who found the net in a 3-0 win over Dinamo Bucharest, is widely expected to lead the line for the visitors against Panathinaikos.
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 (Athletic Bilbao):
Athletic Club (mostly known as Athletic de Bilbao) is a Spanish football club from the Bask region which is playing currently in the Primera Division. The club from Bilbao is playing in the highest Spanish division since its founded in 1928 and is next to Real Madrid and FC Barcelona for a longest period of time in the Primera Division. Athletic de Bilbao used to play until 2012 in the San Mames stadium (also known as La Catedral). Since 2013 the club is playing in anew stadium. Athletic Bilbao is known for it’s rilvalry with Real Madrid. Atletico Madrid was founded by Bask students in Madrid. The old relationship between both teams is visible in the red blue jerseys of both teams.The second team Athletic de Bilbao is playing in the Segunda Division B in Spain. Athletic Bilbao won the Primera Division 8 times, the Copa del Rey 24 times, the Spanish super cup 2 times. Athletic de Bilbao didn’t won any prizes in Europe yet but managed to be the runner up in 1977 and 2012 in the UEFA cup.