Panathinaikos – Braga Predictions
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Panathinaikos 0-1 Braga
Date: 29.08.2023 | Match at: 20:00 | League: CHAMPIONS LEAGUE – QUALIFICATION – FINAL | Tip: Under 3.5 Goals | Odds: 1.34 | Bookie: Unibet.
Panathinaikos – Braga Predictions and Preview
- With a one-goal deficit to overturn from the first leg, Panathinaikos boss Ivan Jovanović admits his side will be burdened with a “psychological” disadvantage in addition to a mathematical one when they look to qualify for the UEFA Champions League (UCL) group stages. The Greek side suffered a 2-1 defeat in the first leg of their play-off clash with Braga, but a last-gasp strike from Daniel Mancini retained some hope of progression at home.
- Given the Greens knocked out Marseille on penalties in the previous round, there remain few reasons why they can’t get past this hurdle for the first time since 2010/11. They can also draw confidence from an impressive 3-0 victory over Volos in the Super League at the weekend, a result which means they are looking to extend a 12-game unbeaten run on home soil across all competitions (W6, D6).
- Braga will have other ideas when they themselves look to end an 11-year drought without UCL group stage football, although manager Artur George admits Panathinaikos’ late goal to half their margin was a “key” moment. He will be hoping it doesn’t make a significant difference as his side attempt to build on their fairly impressive historical UCL away record of five wins from ten outings (L5).
- One of those victories came in the third qualifying round, when the Portuguese outfit hammered TSC Bačka 4-1. That means the Archbishops have only lost one of their last six European qualifying ties, albeit with the majority coming in the second-tier UEFA Europa League. That said, they can draw extra confidence from their strong start to the season overall, which includes four wins from five fixtures across all competitions (L1), netting 14 goals in the process!
- Key battle: Panathinaikos forward Fotis Ioannidis has scored either the first or last goal in nine of his last 11 goalscoring appearances for the club. Hoping to out-gun him may be Braga’s Bruma, who has staggeringly helped his team to victory in each of the last 26 fixtures in which he was on the scoresheet!
- Hot stat: Braga have registered only two clean sheets in their last 18 away European matches, with both teams on the day scoring in 13 of those fixtures.