Panathinaikos will enter their Europa League campaign full of confidence as they aim to build on their impressive league form. In Group F’s opening match, they will host Villarreal and seek to continue their winning streak.
The Super League Greece has witnessed an exceptional start from Panathinaikos, securing victories in all three matches and claiming the second position in the table.
Their attacking prowess has been outstanding, scoring nine goals and conceding none. The team, led by Ivan Jovanovic, has left fans impressed and brimming with confidence.
Their recent 5-0 victory showcased their attacking talent, with Bernard’s hat-trick stealing the show. Panathinaikos will rely on his exceptional form when facing Villarreal this Thursday.
However, their last home European match proved to be a disappointment as they failed to qualify for the Champions League, losing 3-1 on aggregate to Braga.
Villarreal also seeks a positive start to their European adventure, aiming to secure three crucial points in a highly competitive group.
The La Liga team has had a mixed start to the season, winning only two out of five matches. Their defense has been their Achilles’ heel, conceding 10 goals so far, which may pose a challenge against an in-form Panathinaikos attack.
Despite their defensive struggles, Villarreal showcased their fighting spirit in their previous match, securing a late victory after coming from behind. Alexander Sorloth’s 94th-minute winner demonstrates their resilience, which they hope to bring into this fixture.
Panathinaikos (all competitions): W L W L W W
Villarreal (all competitions): L L W L L W
Panathinaikos is expected to field Bernard in the starting XI due to his impressive attacking performances. Their solid defensive displays are likely to remain unchanged from recent matches.
Sorloth, who overcame a fitness test, is set to feature and provide an additional scoring threat for Villarreal.
Alberto Moreno and Francis Coquelin will be unavailable due to injuries, while Gerard Moreno is expected to play as an attacking midfielder.
Vagiannidis, Jedvaj, Magnusson, Juankar;
Verbic, Djuricic, Mancini;
Foyth, Albiol, Cuenca, Femenia;
Baena, Parejo, Capoue;
Morales, G Moreno, Sorloth
Panathinaikos 3-1 Villarreal
Considering Panathinaikos’ strong start to the new season and Villarreal’s defensive struggles, it is likely that Panathinaikos will secure all three points in this intriguing encounter.