Panathinaikos vs Qabala
2017/18 UEFA Europa League Qualification – Third Round
Date: Thursday, 27th July 2017
Kick off at 19:30 UK/ 20:30 CET
Venue: Stadio Apostolos Nikolaidis.
Panathinaikos are set to kick off their Europa League campaign this Thursday when they host Azerbaijani Qabala at Stadio Apostolos Nikolaidis in Athens.
To Trifylli disappointed their fans by failing to claim the top spot in the Greek CL/EL playoffs as they only came second with a four-point deficit to AEK Athens who will play the most elite football competition.
However, the manager Marinos Ouzonidis can be satisfied with his team’s form in pre-season as PAO claimed three consecutive wins over Kortrijk, Gencerlibirligi and AZ showing quite decent performances in the defensive line.
Qabala had a dreadful campaign in the last term of Europa League as they have lost each of their six group phase matches to Anderlecht, Mainz 05 and Saint-Etienne.
They have been dealt the toughest of the draws for the second qualifying round this year as they had to play Polish Jagiellonia.
Jagiellonia had an advantage after the first leg in Azerbaijan (1-1 draw), but Qabala showed their strength by claiming a 0-2 win on the road thanks to goals from Ilgar Qurbanov and Filip Ozobic who led Roman Grigorchuk’s men to the third round.
Panathinaikos vs Qabala: Head to head
The two teams played each other in the playoffs round of Europa League two years ago when Azerbaijani side made a major upset by eliminating the Greeks thanks to an away goal rule.
The first leg at Sahar Stadionu ended goalless while the rematch saw a four-goal thriller (2-2).
Panathinaikos vs Qabala: Prediction
The bookmakers favour the Greeks, but Qabala are everything but a naive squad and we would certainly not underestimate them ahead of two legs with PAO.
The visitors played the group stage of the competition in two subsequent season and we must see the value in backing them to leave Stadio Apostolos Nikolaidis undefeated at the odds of 13/8.
Panathinaikos vs Qabala: Bet Tips
The top bet is Qabala or Draw Double Chance at the odds of 13/8.
The second pick is the draw at the half time at 11/10.