Brighton vs AEK Athens LIVE: Fati starts as Seagulls play first-ever European game

Brighton will play their first-ever European fixture tonight as they host AEK Athens in the Europa League. 

The Seagulls have never played in a European competition before but qualified after an incredible campaign last season, finishing sixth in the Premier League

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Brighton are ready for an historic night at the AmexCredit: Getty

Roberto De Zerbi has his team playing above all expectations and he will now lead them on a journey they haven’t experienced before. 

It won’t be an easy task though, as De Zerbi’s side have been handed a glamorous but difficult draw, being placed in Group B alongside Athens, Marseille and Ajax

However, they head into the group stage on a high after humiliating Manchester United at Old Trafford, coming away with an impressive 3-1 win. 

Brighton vs AEK Athens: How to follow 

This Europa League Group B clash will take place on Thursday, September 21. 

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Kick-off at the Amex Stadium is scheduled for 8pm. 

The game will be broadcast live on TNT Sports 1. 

Fans can watch the game on television or you can stream the match on the Discovery+ website or via the app. 

talkSPORT and talkSPORT.com will keep you up to date with all the latest. 

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To tune in to talkSPORT or talkSPORT 2 through the website, click HERE for the live stream.

ou can also listen via the talkSPORT app, on DAB digital radio, through your smart speaker and on 1089 or 1053 AM.

The Seagulls are loving life under De Zerbi

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The Seagulls are loving life under De ZerbiCredit: Getty

Brighton vs AEK Athens: Team news 

Brighton XI: Steele, Milner, van Hecker, Julio, Estupinan, Gilmour, Gross, March, Mitoma, Fati, Pedro.

Subs: McGill, Verbruggen, Veltman, Lamptey, Webster, Dahoud, Lallana, Baleba, Buonanotte, Hinshelwood, Welbeck, Adingra.

AEK Athens XI: Stankovic, Sidibe, Mitoglu, Szymanski, Haji Safoi, Jonsson, Pineda, Gacinovic, Amrabat, Araujo, Garcia.

Subs: Athanasiadis, Theocharis, Rota, Mohammadi, Mantalos, Galanopoulos, Pizarro, Zuber, Eliasson, Ponce.

Brighton vs AEK Athens: What has been said? 

Brighton boss De Zerbi: “I think it is not tougher. But we have to get used to playing three games per week.

“I have to be smart to change the players and they have to be ready to play one game and then one game no.

“Keeping the style, keeping the DNA. This is the problem. I can change the team, 11 players per game, but the target is keeping our style, keeping our DNA, winning the game.

“Try to finish the group on top of the table and to play the next year in Europe, not only this year.”

De Zerbi wants his side to compete in Europe for years to come

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De Zerbi wants his side to compete in Europe for years to comeCredit: Getty

Brighton vs AEK Athens: Match facts 

  • Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi has managed in major European competition before, taking charge of six UEFA Champions League group stage games in 2021-22 with Shakhtar Donetsk, failing to win any (D2 L4).
  • AEK Athens have lost their last six major European games against English opponents, conceding 16 goals and scoring just three. Their last win against an English team was in 1977 against QPR, a 3-0 win in the UEFA Cup.
  • This is Brighton and Hove Albion’s first ever game in European competition. They are the first debutant English team in major European competition since Wigan Athletic in 2013-14, with none of the last six losing their first game (W4 D2) since a 1-0 defeat for Blackburn Rovers in 1994-95 against Trelleborgs FF in the UEFA Cup.
  • Brighton’s James Milner has made 116 appearances in major European competition with Newcastle United, Aston Villa, Man City and Liverpool. It’s the fifth most of any Englishman in history, behind Jamie Carragher (130), Paul Scholes (128), Frank Lampard (122) and John Terry (121). He could become the second Englishman to appear for five different clubs in such competitions, after Jonathan Woodgate (Leeds, Newcastle, Real Madrid, Spurs, Stoke), and the first player ever to play for five different English teams.
  • AEK Athens have won just one of their last 19 matches in major European competition (D7 L11), losing 10 of their last 11. Their one win was away at Zorya Luhansk in the 2020-21 UEFA Europa League, a 4-1 win.

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Source From: Football News, Transfers, Opinion – talkSPORT

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