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Preview: Austria Vienna – AEK Athens

The last round of games in Europa League (EL) Group D sees a straight shootout between Austria Vienna (third) and AEK Athens (second) to see who will progress to the next phase as the second-placed team. For Vienna, nothing but a win will suffice which will give them the edge on AEK due a superior head-to-head, while AEK only need to avoid defeat.

 

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

Both sides come into this game on the back of contrasting fortunes. Vienna are on a quite miserable run, winning just three games out of their last fourteen in all competitions and losing nine (two draws). The second most successful club (to Rapid) in the Austrian game find themselves in a mid-table position in their home league, a whopping 18 points off Salzburg in top spot.

AEK are in much better health and find themselves top of the Greek Super League after going on a run on five unbeaten games in the league and nine in all competitions. Striker Marko Livaja has scored five goals in his last four league games in that time and also notched two in the 2-2 draw between the sides on matchday two, including the last minute equalizer.

Vienna have lost both of their home ties in this year’s EL, and face a side in AEK who have so far gained more points on the road than at home (four as opposed to three). Indeed, Vienna are winless in their last seven European home games (D2, L5) and have one solitary victory to their name in 15 EL/UEFA Cup group games at home! AEK are yet to taste defeat in their last seven European games, drawing the last four, but have only scored in one away game in their last five EL away days!

With AEK just needing a point and already managing to cancel out group winners AC Milan twice among their four draws, this might turn out to be a hard night for Vienna against a disciplined Greek defence. However, Vienna captain Raphael Holzhauser was upbeat ahead of the game, saying: “It’s time for a home win, there is no better way.” Only time will tell if his confidence was justified.

 

Missing players

Austria Vienna: R. Almer (knee injury), A. Grunwald (injury), F. Klein (injury), C. Martschinko (knee injury), H. Westermann (knee injury), A. Borkovic (doubtful), V. Demaku (doubtful)

AEK Athens: J. Johansson (knee injury), P. Mantalos (knee injury), U. Cosic (doubtful), K. Lamropoulos (doubtful), A. Traustason (doubtful), A. Vlachomitros (doubtful).