Antwerp vs AEK Athens Predictions

Antwerp vs AEK Athens predictions ahead of this Champions League affair on Tuesday night. Can Antwerp make the most of the home advantage and increase their chances of taking part in a European Cup for the first time since 1957? Read on for our free betting tips and predictions.

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AEK Athens
Match Live Tuesday, 22nd August at 8:00 pm In:
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Antwerp vs AEK Athens Predictions


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Continental Comeback: Royal Antwerp’s Historic Return Faces AEK Athens’ Resilience

Key Stats
– Royal Antwerp are back in top-level continental competition after a staggering 66 years.
– AEK Athens overcame Dinamo Zagreb in an edge-of-the-seat qualifier, marking their intent.
– Vincent Janssen, leading Royal Antwerp’s attack, has found the net four times this campaign.

For Royal Antwerp, this Champions League playoff round tie against AEK Athens marks a triumphant return to continental competition after 66 long years. This historical matchup sees a newly crowned Belgian champion, facing a Greek side that has displayed grit, determination, and no small measure of drama in their European outings.

Royal Antwerp: From Doldrums to Glory

Claiming their first top-flight title since 1957, Royal Antwerp have demonstrated resilience. Despite finishing behind Genk and Union SG in the 2022-23 Belgian Pro League’s regular season, their tenacity during the playoffs won them the coveted title. This victory provides them a golden ticket to the Champions League, stirring memories of their initial European Cup outing 66 years ago, which ended at the hands of Real Madrid.


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Under the guidance of Dutch maestro, Mark van Bommel, since 2022, Antwerp’s European aspirations were fuelled by consecutive appearances in the Europa League group stage in 2020-21 and 2021-22. Although a foray into the Europa Conference League eluded them last year, they’ve started this term on a high by clinching the Belgian Super Cup. However, recent results, including a draw against OH Leuven, have shown they aren’t infallible.

AEK Athens: Overcoming the Odds

AEK Athens, on the other hand, have faced tumultuous times. Their recent qualifier against Dinamo Zagreb was marred by fan unrest and the tragic death of a supporter. Yet, the Greek side showcased their mental strength, triumphing over Dinamo in riveting circumstances. With the likes of Sergio Araujo and Domagoj Vida making critical contributions, they now have their eyes set on their first Champions League group stage appearance since the 2018-19 season.

The historical data might favour Royal Antwerp as AEK Athens have often struggled against Belgian opposition. But as we’ve seen, past records often count for little in the face of present determination.

Key Players and Form Guide

Royal Antwerp’s attack is spearheaded by former Tottenham striker, Vincent Janssen, who’s in formidable form, netting four goals this campaign. While there’s a slight concern about his recent knock, the likes of Toby Alderweireld will be crucial in fortifying their defence, especially given the injury concerns surrounding their other defensive stalwarts.

AEK Athens, without the pressures of domestic fixtures due to their rescheduled tie, are likely to field a strong lineup at Bosuilstadion. The absence of Paolo Fernandes will be a blow, but Nordin Amrabat stands ready to fill the void, amidst swirling transfer speculations.

Antwerp and AEK Athens: A Clash of Tactics

It’s been a while since Royal Antwerp have found themselves in a contest of this magnitude. 66 years in the making, their upcoming game against AEK Athens in the Champions League playoff round is a testament to their perseverance, evolution, and skill. Let’s break down their tactical orientations and how they might match up.

Offensive and Defensive Strategies

Royal Antwerp: Mark van Bommel’s side has been largely led in the offensive department by ex-Tottenham striker, Vincent Janssen. His four goals this campaign have been crucial, and with an average BettingTips4You rating of 7.70, he remains their most potent attacking threat. Despite Janssen’s heroics, Antwerp’s offensive output isn’t just about him. The team averages 2 goals per game with a commendable ball possession of 59.3%. Their strategy often seems to revolve around high possession, trying to control the game and looking for moments of brilliance from their key players.

Defensively, there seem to be challenges. With Bjorn Engels nursing an injury, the onus falls upon Toby Alderweireld. The statistics, however, show a strong defensive resolve, conceding only 0.5 goals per game.

AEK Athens: The Greek side’s offensive strategy seems more diversified. With Levi García leading the charge with 14 goals, players like Mijat Gaćinović and Sergio Araujo also provide significant firepower. Statistically, they average a slightly lesser 1.9 goals per game but hold better ball possession at 62.2%.

Their defensive prowess is evident. 24 clean sheets in the last season point towards a tight-knit defence led by the likes of Harold Moukoudi and Domagoj Vida.

Impact of Management

The influence of Mark van Bommel on Antwerp is palpable. Under his guidance, Antwerp has risen, clinching the Belgian Super Cup and fostering an environment where players like Janssen have thrived. In contrast, Matias Almeyda’s AEK Athens, with their dramatic progression past Dinamo Zagreb, showcases a team with grit and determination. Both managers have showcased tactical astuteness, but their upcoming match will be a true test of their strategic mastery.


While both teams employ a possession-based game, Antwerp seem more reliant on their star players to pull them through, especially in the offensive half. AEK Athens, on the other hand, appears to have a broader distribution of goal-scoring threats, which might make them unpredictable.

Suggestions for Improvement

For Antwerp, diversifying their attacking strategies might be beneficial. Relying too heavily on Janssen might be their Achilles’ heel, especially with his recent injury scare. Defensively, the onus on Alderweireld highlights a potential vulnerability in their backline.

AEK Athens, meanwhile, should be wary of overconfidence. Their last-minute heroics against Dinamo Zagreb are commendable but relying on last-minute goals might not always be feasible.

Pros and Cons

Antwerp’s strengths lie in their key players and their high possession game. However, their vulnerabilities in defence and potential over-reliance on Janssen might be areas AEK can exploit.

AEK Athens are tactically versatile, and their widespread goal threats make them unpredictable. However, their past record against Belgian teams might play on their psyche.


  1. Match Outcome – Draw: With Antwerp’s current form and AEK’s resilience, this could be a tightly contested match, making a draw a viable outcome. Both teams have shown defensive solidity, but also have potent attacking threats.
  2. Correct Score Prediction – 1-1: Based on the offensive statistics and recent performances, both teams seem capable of finding the net, yet their strong defences suggest a high scoring game is unlikely.
  3. Goalscorer Prediction – Vincent Janssen: Janssen’s form, boasting four goals in the current campaign, makes him a prime candidate to score in this clash. His recent performances have been pivotal for Royal Antwerp and will be closely watched by AEK’s defence.


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Odds corrects at time of posting and subject to change

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Graham Hartshorn
With more than 10 years of business expertise, Graham Hartshorn is a recognized authority on sports betting. He is the betting coordinator for @BTips4You, where he provides content for football fans.  Graham  is a reliable source for sports betting advice and analysis because of his enthusiasm for the business and his successful track record over the years.