Athletic Bilbao are a team with tradition in this competition where they reached the final about 5 years ago.
Athletic Bilbao: The Spaniards are almost always present on this Europa League and they usually do pretty well, reaching the final stages.
This season they are looking to get into the Europa League’s group stage and they are very close to accomplishing that goal, after their fantastic comeback in Greece, where they won 3-2 after trailing 2-0.
They scored 3 goals in 7 minutes and are now in full control of this play-off. Bilbao hasn’t made big changes to their squad in the last few years and the players know each other well.
I should also highlight that they started their domestic league with a draw at home against Getafe, so they should look to bounce back with a good result in this match.
Panathinaikos: The Greeks have a reasonable squad and had the objective of going through to the group stage of this Europa League while fighting for the title in their domestic league with their fierce rivals Olympiakos.
They have started well in this European competition, having eliminated Qabala in the previous round with two wins (1-0 at home and 2-1 away).
They started this round in almost perfect fashion since they got a 2-0 lead in the 1st leg match at home against Bilbao.
However, they broke down and in 7 minutes, allowed the “comeback” from the Spanish team, which leaves them in a very difficult situation now.
On the league, they didn’t get off to a good start as well, since they drew away on a match where they were clear favourites. The team has resented from their 1st leg loss and that affected them in that 1st matchday of the Greek league.
Athletic Bilbao vs Panathinaikos Betting Tip:
Bilbao will not miss this opportunity of advancing to the Europa League’s group stage and they will win this match.
They have the mental edge on their side after being able to win in the 1st leg, with that amazing comeback in Greece. However, they shouldn’t settle for that small advantage and I hope the hosts take control of this match and try to score first.
If they do it, the Greeks know that they end up with a practically impossible task in their hands and that might force them to commit more mistakes, which can lead to a bigger advantage for Bilbao.
I see the Spanish side winning this match, even because they drew at home against Getafe, in the 1st match of La Liga for them.
Any result other than their triumph would be bad in this match and, despite having the 1st leg advantage, they shouldn’t ease up and I think they will win this match.
|Athletic Bilbao to win||