AEK Athens vs Brighton predictions: No Greek tragedy for the Seagulls
Brighton travel to AEK Athens on Thursday for a crucial Europa League Group B encounter that could see the Seagulls guarantee a top-two finish with a match to spare.
Roberto De Zerbi's side sit second in the group, a point behind Marseille and three clear of third-place AEK, who would move above the Seagulls if they triumph at the OPAP Arena because of their victory at the Amex Stadium back in September.
A win for the visitors, however, guarantees a top-two finish, meaning they will at least go into the play-off round if they fail to overhaul leaders Marseille.
AEK Athens are expected to be without the trio of Harold Moukoudi, Jens Jonsson and Levi Garcia, as they continue to recover from injuries sustained earlier this month.
Goalkeeper Cican Stankovic served his one-match Europa League ban in matchday four and he is set to return between the sticks, replacing Giorgos Athanasiadis.
Brighton have a lengthy injury list that includes Solly March, Julio Enciso, Danny Welbeck, Pervis Estupinan and Adam Webster, while there are doubts over the fitness of Kaoru Mitoma, Igor Julio, James Milner, Ansu Fati and Tariq Lamptey.
Brighton's 3-2 victory at Nottingham Forest on Saturday extended their unbeaten streak to six matches across all competitions, while they have won their last two away assignments.
Both teams have scored in the Seagulls' last 17 Premier League matches, matching Manchester United's streak from the 1959/60 season.
De Zerbi's troops have kept just one clean sheet from their last 11 away matches across all competitions — that shutout coming in the 2-0 triumph at Ajax earlier this month.
AEK have recorded just one win from their last 12 home matches in the Europa League, with both teams scoring in nine of those games.
The Yellow-Blacks have lost each of their last three home meetings with English clubs — losing to Nottingham Forest in 1978, Everton in 2009 and Leicester City in 2020.
Brighton have been one of the most entertaining teams to watch this season and they could be in for another high-scoring affair AEK, who managed to pick up a 3-2 win at the Amex Stadium on matchday one.
The Seagulls have come on since that defeat and are looking to extend their three-game unbeaten run in Europe, having drawn with Marseille before securing back-to-back 2-0 wins over Ajax.
Although De Zerbi is facing some selection issues, there should still be enough quality in this Brighton squad to get the three points and ensure their European adventure continues.
However, it may not be plain sailing for the Premier League outfit based on their defensive record and the chance of both teams finding the back of the net seems high.
Win up to £250,000 with LiveScore 6!
Win up to £250,000 with our free-to-play game, LiveScore 6!