Tuesday’s football match at Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis pits together AEK Athens and Benfica. The Greek side experienced all sorts of problems at the back in a 3-0 loss to Ajax, but it is well known that they produce much better showings at home than on the travels.Benfica vs AEK Athens Live Match Streaming | Uefa Champions League 2018/19
Benfica vs AEK Athens Live Match Streaming
- Wednesday 12th December
- Estadio da Luz
AEK need to grab something from the Benfica clash if they are to keep their hopes of making it to the knockout stages of the Champions League alive, therefore, we predict that the hosts are going to leave their hearts on the field. As expected, the Eagles were beaten by Bayern Munchen at home in the opening match of their Champions League campaign, but they are definitely capable of holding AEK to a draw in Athens. It has to be noted that the two sides meet for the first time ever in the elite competition.
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.
Member of the ‘Big Three’ clubs in Portugal alongside FC Porto and CP Sporting, Sport Lisboa e Benfica are the football club that has never been relegated from the Primeira Liga. The club is nicknamed Aguias because of the Eagle symbol atop the club’s crest. Benfica play their home games at the Estadio da Luz which replaced the original one in 2003 and which boasts the capacity of more than 64,000. Arguably the most successful club in Portugal, Benfica have won a record of 35 Primeira Liga titles and also a record 25 Taca de Liga and 7 Taca da Liga trophies. Two-time European Cup winners, Benfica are the club known for their diligent work with youth players, many of which went on to make great careers abroad. The most prominent players to wear a Benfica shirt are legendary Eusebio, Manuel Bento, Jorge Tavares and most recently Javier Saviola, Nuno Gomes, David Luiz and Angel Di Maria.
Can Benfica improve on their awful record in this competition last season? They lost every group game on their way to an early exit last season, which was a severe blow. They were unable to retain their league title, so they’re only here after just making it through qualifying. Meanwhile, AEK Athens are aiming to take their dominant league form and transport it across to Europe, given that they’re in one of the most open groups. With these two and Ajax fighting for second behind Bayern, every game is crucial.
AEK Athens did get a significant blow to their hopes of qualifying, as they lost out to Ajax in Amsterdam last time out. That 3-0 defeat has them firmly on the backfoot, with the Dutch side leading the way at this early stage. However, Ajax are making the trip to Munich this week, so these two sides have a chance to catch up. The Greek side are among the early contenders in the Super League, and they are aiming to combine a run to the last 16 with a domestic title defence, something the visitors failed to do last season.
Benfica certainly had a tough season last time out, and things were set to get worse for them during a summer trip to Greece. They faced PAOK, the side who were runners-up behind AEK last term. The Portuguese side were trailing 2-1 on aggregate during the second leg, and set to miss out on a huge payday by making the group stage. However, the Eagles regrouped and came back to win the second leg 4-1, which set up this week’s return to Greece.
Benfica will be looking to take the attacking edge they showed in the qualifiers and use it here. They will be confident against a defence which lost 3-0 at Ajax, while PAOK recently put two goals past AEK in a Super League clash. Benfica had scored in every Champions League game this season before their 2-0 defeat by Bayern. After racking up four goals in their last visit to Greece, they can expect some joy going forward in our opinion.
All of AEK’s four qualifiers this summer saw both teams score, while the hosts have now conceded in 10 straight matches in this competition. Benfica are looking stronger up front with Jonas on his way back from injury, and they should capitalise here. However, having conceded 18 times in their last eight matches in this competition outside of qualifiers, Benfica are questionable at the back. We’re going for both teams to score, and a 1-1 draw.
Marinos Ouzounidis will be missing the likes of defensive midfielders Paris Babis and Alef, left winger Christos Albanis, and forward Lucas Boye due to injuries for this home fixture. Things might not have worked out well for Dmytro Chygrynskiy when he was at Barcelona, but the fact the Ukrainian got there at all speaks volumes. It’s that kind of experience that can be invaluable for a team, and his leadership at the back could be just what they need here. Going forward, Argentine striker Ezequiel Ponce is the man to watch. He’s scored three times, including the final goal in league action on Saturday, in Greece this term.
Rui Vitoria will have to make do without right back Tyronne Ebuehi, center back Cristian Lema, attacking midfielders Filip Krovinovic and Joao Felix, and winger Eduardo Salvio due to injuries for this tricky trip to Athens. Over the years, Benfica have been blessed with a multitude of great wingers, and that tradition has continued with Rafa Silva. The Portuguese man looks to be rounding into form at the moment after he scored twice in their draw on Thursday, taking him up to three goals in Portuguese league play for the season. Striker Jonas, a veteran that is the definition of a late bloomer, is also one to watch. He’s very clever and always capable of popping in a goal, especially against ‘weaker’ competition.