As things stand in Group D, with just one match to go, things are complicated. AC Milan may have already booked their place in the next round, but any of the other three are still in with a shout of going through. Currently, as they sit on seven points, it is AEK who hold all the cards. A point is all that is needed as far as the visitors are concerned; if Manuel Jiménez Jiménez’s men avoid defeat on Thursday night then they’re through, it’s as simple as that. However, should the visitors get beat, any one of the trio could go through. Vienna know that they need to win, and, because of their less than flattering goal-difference, win well.
Over the course of the group, these two teams have entertained, but we could be in for a dull affair on this occasion, especially if AEK have got any say in the matter. The visitors have been involved in a couple of end-to-end, attacking encounters, but they’ve also shown themselves to be capable of shutting-up-shop when necessary. At the prices, backing the ‘Draw’ on this occasion is the way to go.
The fact that AEK need just a point could easily dictate the pattern of this fixture. Vienna, as the team who need to win, will undoubtedly come forward, but, if the visiting team put in a display that is not dissimilar to the two they delivered against AC Milan, then the prayers of the Austrian side could fall on deaf ears.
As we saw when they faced AC Milan (both home and away), AEK are more than happy to get men behind the ball and shut teams out. What’s more, they’ve looked to be a team who’re capable of carrying out such tactics to good effect. A pair of 0-0 draws against the group winners really do stand out. Quite frankly, if Jiménez’s men are capable of keeping Milan at bay then they ought to fancy their chances of doing so against a Vienna side that is blessed with less quality.
The fact that a draw is all they need to progress will probably be music to AEK’s ears, after all, the Greek’s, who’ve drawn four of their five matches in Group D, have made a name for themselves as something of draw specialists during this campaign. Add in the fact that they drew against Vienna on home soil and it’s easy to see this one ending all-square.
With the way this one is set up, AEK are likely to look for the 0-0 and, based on what they’ve shown so far, you certainly wouldn’t go against them pulling it off.
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