UEFA Europa League – Austria Wien-AEK – Austria Wien v AEK Athens background
Austria Wien will book a place in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase for the first time if they end a sorry sequence of home results in Europe and beat AEK Athens; the Greek side will hold on to second place in Group D and progress in their hosts’ stead should they avoid defeat in Vienna.
• Although a win would put Austria Wien level on points with AEK, they would displace the Athens club from the runners-up berth on the head-to-head rule and would also finish top of a potential three-way head-to-head including group rivals Rijeka.
• The teams drew 2-2 when they met for the first time on matchday two in Athens. AEK striker Marko Livaja’s second goal of the game, in the 90th minute, denied Austria Wien victory after the visitors had come from behind to lead through Christoph Monschein and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi.
• Austria Wien’s balance sheet in six encounters with Greek clubs stands at W1 D2 L3; at home it is W1 D1 L1.
• AEK’s record in nine games against Austrian sides reads W3 D2 L4 (W1 D1 L2 in Austria).
• Austria Wien have failed to register a victory in any of their last seven European home games (D2 L5) and have won just once in 15 UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League group matches in Vienna, losing ten of them.
• AEK have scored in only one of their last five away games in UEFA competition. However, they are currently on a seven-match unbeaten run in Europe, their last four fixtures having all been drawn.
• Last season’s Austrian Bundesliga runners-up, Austria Wien have not survived their last five UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns; they did, however, reach the quarter-finals of the 2004/05 competition.
• Winners of Greece’s end-of-season UEFA Champions League play-offs in 2016/17, AEK have had five previous UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns, most recently in 2011/12. They have only made it into the round of 32 once, in 2007/08.
Links and trivia
• The journey from Athens to Vienna is around 1,300km.
• AEK midfielder Arnór Ingvi Traustason is on loan from Austria Wien’s neighbours Rapid Wien, where he arrived in 2016.
• AEK’s Dmytro Chygrynskiy won the UEFA Cup as a Shakhtar Donetsk player in 2009.
• Suspended for next match if booked: Christoph Monschein, Thomas Salamon (Austria Wien); André Simões, Marko Livaja, Hélder Lopes (AEK).
• Austria Wien coach since 2015, Thorsten Fink won the 2001 UEFA Champions League and four German Bundesliga titles as a Bayern midfielder. He also secured back-to-back Swiss Super League championships as coach of Basel from 2009–11.
• Manolo Jiménez returned for a second spell as AEK coach in January 2017, having guided the club to 2010/11 Greek Cup glory during his first stint. The ex-Spain international left-back has also coached Sevilla, Real Zaragoza and Al-Rayyan.