Leicester City vs AEK Athens preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
ATHENS, GREECE - OCTOBER 29: James Justin of Leicester City in action with Muamer Tankovic of AEK Athens during the UEFA Europa League Group G stage match between AEK Athens and Leicester City at Athens Olympic Stadium on October 29, 2020 in Athens, Greece. (Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images)

Leicester City will look to seal top spot in Group G of the UEFA Europa League at the King Power Stadium on Thursday night against AEK Athens.

The Foxes had the chance to make sure they would finish first last week, however a surprise defeat to Ukrainian outfit Zorya Luhansk means that Brendan Rodgers' side need to match or better second-placed SC Braga's result to ensure they top the group.

For the Greek visitors however, they will look to end their short-lived European campaign on a high, with Massimo Carrera's side rooted to the bottom of the table after just one win and four losses from their five Europa League games so far.

Team News

Whilst qualification has been secured, Leicester boss Rodgers has confirmed that he is still intent to field a strong side in order to try and help the East Midlanders finish top of the pile.

The likes of Ricardo Pereira, Caglar Soyuncu and Wilfred Ndidi all made their long-awaited comebacks from injury against Zorya, however it is likely only the latter will be involved, after Pereira and Soyuncu both picked up knocks which should see them hopefully return to action in the next couple of weeks.

The game will also come too quickly for Timothy Castagne who continues his recovery from a hamstring problem however Danny Ward was given his first run-out of the campaign last week and is likely to be involved again.

There could also be a chance for youngster Sidnei Tavares to play some part, after the highly-rated Portuguese midfielder was left out of the club's development squad's penalty shoot-out win over Salford City in the Papa John's Trophy on Tuesday night.

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Emiliano Insua will be the only absentee for the away side on Thursday, after the left-back received his third booking of the tournament in the defeat to Braga last week and will now miss out through suspension.

Predicted Line-Ups

Leicester City: Ward; Justin, Fofana, Evans, Thomas; Ndidi, Choudhury, Praet, Under, Iheanacho, Barnes.

AEK Athens: Tsintosas; Paulinho, Nedelcearu, Hnid, Mitaj; Mantalos, Simoes, Szymanski; Albanis, Oliveira, Garcia.

Last Meeting

The previous, and only other meeting between the two teams, took place back in October and saw Leicester beat Athens 2-1 at the Olympic Stadium.

Jamie Vardy opened the scoring from the penalty spot 18 minutes in after he was originally brought down by keeper Panagiotis Tsintotas. Hamza Choudhury then doubled the Foxes lead six minutes before half-time with a smart side-footed finish following a Leicester corner.

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The home side did pull one back shortly after the restart through Muamer Tankovic, however Rodgers' side held on to return from Greece with the three points in hand.

Ones to watch

Cengiz Under - Leicester City

Still awaiting his first goal in Leicester colours, the tricky winger has shown glimpses of what he can do, and Thursday night will be the chance to prove if he is worth a more regular role in the starting XI.

In what was otherwise a drab performance by Leicester standards last week, the Turkish wide-man was a bright spark in the team as he looked to create opportunities throughout and despite squandering a golden chance to give the Foxes the lead, was a threat throughout and is expected to be so once again on Thursday.

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Nélson Oliveira - AEK Athens

Familiar to fans of English football, the Portugal international could well lead the line for the away side on Thursday, with the intention for the 29-year-old to improve his scoring tally for Athens.

Oliveira has 19 goals in 49 appearances since joining the club, however three of those have only come this season - two in the Europa League - a figure that he will look to improve.

The former Norwich City man has also been a regular feature on the bench under Carrera this term, so if he is to be given the chance from the off, Oliveira will look to make the most of it.

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Pre-Match Thoughts

With top spot on the line for Thursday's showdown, Leicester Manager Brendan Rodgers admitted that he could look to name a strong line-up to ensure his side do get over the line in winning fashion.

He said: “We’ll do what we have done throughout the competition and pick a team we think can win the game. There are so many games, but the squad have been first class. We’ll pick a strong team to try and get the result."

Leicester have had to contend with a demanding fixture list this season, balancing the Premier League with their European adventure, and experienced head Marc Albrighton believes the Foxes have coped with it well.

He said: "I think we’ve coped with it very well. A lot was made last time [City in the Champions League] that our league form stuttered. Personally I’ve enjoyed it, you’ve got no time to ease up on your focus."

How to watch

Coverage of the game is available in the UK on BT Sport 1HD, which gets under way at 7:30pm GMT. Kick-off follows at 8pm. 

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