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Nov 26, 2020 at 5.55pm UK
AEK AthensAEK Athens
LuhanskZorya Luhansk

Shakhov (43'), Tankovic (49'), Simoes (55'), Svarnas (70')
Shakhov (49')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Gromov (61'), Kabaiev (76'), Yurchenko (85' pen.)
Vernydub (49'), Kochergin (73')

Preview: AEK Athens vs. Zorya Luhansk - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: AEK Athens vs. Zorya Luhansk - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League clash between AEK Athens and Zorya Luhansk, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

AEK Athens host Zorya Luhansk in the Europa League on Thursday night at the Athens Olympic Stadium.

After rolling over Larissa 4-1 in the national championship, AEK will be looking to keep their Europa League knockout stage hopes alive when they host Luhansk.

Meanwhile, Luhansk will come into this fixture off the back of three defeats in Europe and will be looking to salvage some pride away in Athens.

Match preview

The Yellow-Blacks face a must-win situation on Thursday if they are to have any chance of catching Braga to steal that second qualifying spot.

Therefore, AEK are likely to go all guns blazing at the Ukrainian outfit to get them back in amongst the group leaders.

AEK sealed a comfortable victory in the reverse fixture winning 4-1, scoring four goals in European competition for the first time since December 2002, which came against Maccabi Haifa in the UEFA Cup.

A win for the Greek side would also mean wins in consecutive matches in a single major European competition for the first time since their Champions League campaign in 2006.

To do that, they will need to overcome poor home form, as they are currently winless in 13 home matches in major European competition since beating Hajduk Split in this competition in September 2010.

Luhansk have not had a great start to their Europa League campaign, losing all three matches and conceding nine goals in that time.

Viktor Skrypnyk's men have also lost each of their last six matches in the Europa League, scoring only twice while conceding a total of 15 goals in that time.

Luhansk will be hoping that Vladyslav Kochergin can turn shots into goals, after taking 13 shots so far during the group stages this campaign, almost twice as many as any teammate. He has scored one of their two goals so far, the other coming from Dmytro Ivanisenya.

Fortunately for Luhansk, they are starting to show some domestic form that they can fall back on, as they are unbeaten in their last five, securing one win in that time.

AEK Athens Europa League form: LLW
AEK Athens form (all competitions): LWLWWW

Zorya Luhansk Europa League form: LLL
Zorya Luhansk form (all competitions): DDWDLD

Team News

Iran international Karim Ansarifard is pushing for a start after scoring as a substitute in the clash against Larissa at the weekend.

However, Damian Szymanski is likely to miss out again due to an achilles tendon injury.

For Luhansk, Maksym Kazakov is expected to miss out due to a muscular injury.

Aside from Kazakov, Skrypnyk has no fresh injury concerns.

AEK Athens possible starting lineup:
Tsintotas; Svarnas, Chygrynskiy, Nedelcearu, Insua, Vasilantonopoulos; Krsticic, Shakhov, Mantalos; Livaja, Tankovic

Zorya Luhansk possible starting lineup:
Shevchenko; Hanna, Vernydub, Dmytro Khomchenovsky; Ciganiks, Yurchenko, Kochergin, Ivanisenia, Gromov; Lunov, Kabaev

We say: AEK Athens 3-0 Zorya Luhansk

Given the ease in which AEK Athens brushed Luhansk aside in the reverse fixture, we cannot see anything other than a convincing home win to throw the Greek side right back into contention to qualify.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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