AEK Athens welcomes crosstown neighbors Olympiacos for Leg 2 of their Greek Cup Quarterfinal series which heads in tied 1-1 aggregate. Are the bigger club Olympiacos the logical pick?
AEK Athens vs. Olympiacos Piraeus, (OTE Sport 4 (GRE); 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT): After drawing 1-1 in Leg 1 at Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus on Feb. 11, Olympiacos Piraeus and AEK Athens will meet again in this crucial Quarterfinals match and Athenian derby from Athens Olympic Stadium on Wednesday to see who moves on to the tournament’s Semifinals. Soccer Odds makers have made visitors Olympiacos 1.92 favorites (BetVictor) in this leg, with hosts AEK Athens 3.9 home underdogs and the Draw priced 3.3 in the Three-Way (Winner) marketplace. The Total Goals is in this match is 2½, with the Over and Under both priced at 1.87 (Boylesports) while the Both Teams To Score odds (Yes) are 1.73 (No 2, Boylesports).
Some props from this match: Total Goals First Half: 1½ (Over 1.4, Under 1.4; Boylesports); Draw No Bet: Olympiacos 1.4, AEK Athens 2.88; Boylesports); and, Correct Score: Olympiacos 1-0, 7/1; Olympiacos 2-0, 17/2; Olympiacos 3-0, 15/1; Olympiacos 2-1, 11/1; Olympiacos 3-1, 13/1; Draw 1-1, 13/2 (6.5/1); AEK Athens 1-0, 10/1; AEK ACthens 2-0, 17/1; AEK Athens 2-1, 11/1 (Boylesports).
Olympiacos Piraeus (18-4-2, overall; 8-3-1, 26 GF-6 GA Away, Greek Super League)—or ΠΑΕ Ολυμπιακ?ς Σ?νδεσμος Φιλ?θλων Πειραι?ς (Olympiacos Club of Sportsmen of Piraeus) if we’re filling out nametags—has always had one of the most renowned clubs in Greece, and the Erythrolefkoi (Red-Whites) and Manager Vítor Pereira will expect to find a way to win this Second Leg and do have a slight advantage with that 1 road goal picked up in the 1-1 draw at home in Karaiskáki Stadium a month ago. Olympiacos will look to start 26-year-old striker Konstantinos Mitroglou (13 goals)—on loan from Fulham—33-year-old MF Alejandro Domínguez (8 goals), Luka Milivojevic (4 goals)—on loan from Anderlecht—as well as MFs Pajtim Kasami and Kostas Fortounis for some precious scoring and playmaking here and whichever side scores first will definitely set the tone and the hosts AEK Athens can’t afford not to score at least once. Road goals have a unique value at some stages in tournaments.
Olympiacos has just 1 win in its L7 scheduled fixtures, with 2 draws, 2 losses and 2 matches postponed due to crowd violence in Greece which has banned fans for a week in the Super League. Resuming play in the Greek Cup should be a nice respite for the Red-Whites, but make no mistake about it, despite the odds, AEK Athens can win this game and move on and will definitely put up the fight of its life to do so.
AEK Athens FC
AEK Athens (17-2-0, 53 GF-8 GA) sits alone and undefeated in first place in South Group of the Football League—Greece’s second-highest flight of football and the feeder league for the first-tier Greek Super League where opponent Olympiacos also has the league lead—and has already qualified to play in the Promotional Playoffs. And, with just 8 goals allowed in league play and at home at Athens Olympic Stadium, AEK Athens almost has to be a formidable opponent. But, the Dikefalos Aetos (Double-headed Eagles) and GK Giannis Anestis will have to play as well, or better than they did in Leg 1 across Athens. AEK Athens Manager Traianos Dellas does have a very strong attack force with which to work that includes players like F Christos Aravidis (11 goals), MF Petros Mantalos (9 goals), ST Ivan Brecevic (8 goals), MF Vangelis Platelas (5 goals), F Hélder Barbosa and F Macauley Chrisantus. There is a reason this club has 53 goals in league play and its this fairly deep Double-Headed Eagles roster. Here against their semi-rivals Olympiacos in an Athenian derby to see who gets to go to the tournament’s semifinals, AEK Athens will need that roster to shine and its scorers to hopefully score a couple against staunch Olympiacos GK Anestis.
Best Betting Approaches and Trends
These two have only played two games in the Greek Cup—also known as Kypello Elladas—with the last result being that draw in Leg 1 on Feb. 11 at Karaiskáki Stadium, and then a completely wild affair in the 2008/2009 Final of this Greek Cup where Olympiakos won 15-14 in a marathon Penalty Kick Shootout and took home the silverware. Everyone slept well that night. Overall, Olympiacos is 13-6-6 (41 GF-22 GA) against AEK Athens, and when these two last met here at Athens Olympic Stadium it was in Greek Super League play and Olympiacos blasted the hosts, 6-0. Here, look for the team with more Pride to lose (Olympiacos) to find a way to win and advance, probably through the extremely talented playmaking of Milivojevic and the valuable feet of loanee Mitroglou.
AEK Athens will be tough to score on, and the Under may also be a soccer pick worth considering here in what could play out like many other Leg 2s of tournament series’ where the home team can’t afford a 0-0 draw and being bounced from the proceedings despite a 1-1 aggregate score. That desperation and hunger for a goal could work against AEK Athens and lead to a breaks on the counter for Olympiacos. And, as is often the case in League Cups, the difference in competition faced between the two flights of play will likely show up in favor of the club from the top flight of Grecian play. Olympiacos will want to win the Greek Cup and getting by AEK Athens in this mid-week derby in imperative to attaining that very achievable goal.
Prediction: AEK Athens 0 Olympiakos 1
Greek Cup Soccer Pick: Olympiakos 1.92 (BetVictor)