Malaga have gone from rags to riches and back again in the space of little over a year, with their Arab owners realising they did not have as much money as they thought, necessitating the sale of two stars players in Santi Cazorla and Salomon Rondon this summer.
Panathinaikos' economic situation mirrors that of Greece as a whole with years of financial mismanagement
pushing the club, and indeed the country, to the point of bankruptcy.
It is fair to say then, a lot rests on tonight's game in Athens, and Panbet price a home win at 39/25 (2.56), while Malaga who have a 2-0 lead from the first leg in Andalusia are offered at 19/10 (2.90). The draw can be backed at 49/20 (3.45).
Despite a tumultuous summer, Malaga have started the season in impressive fashion and are unbeaten in the three competitive matches they have played.
Manuel Pellegrini has used his experience and personable nature to seemingly fashion a resolve and belief in his squad which has so far got the best out of his players in difficult circumstances.
Panathinaikos are of course strong at home in the Greek League, but last season lost against there against their two biggest challengers, Olympiakos and PAOK.
Malaga have the technical know-how, not to mention confidence to avoid defeat tonight in Athens, and the price of 14/25 (1.56) on a draw or a Malaga win is a solid one and should secure a decent profit.
For a value bet, back Malaga in the half-time/full-time market at 41/10 (5.10). Already leading 2-0 on aggregate, a first-half goal for the Spanish side would all but kill off the tie and leave Panathinaikos needing to score four times and open to further advances from Pellegrini's side.
|Malaga to win or draw at 14/25 (1.56) with Panbet
||Malaga half time/full time at 41/10 (5.10) with Panbet|
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Phil Kitromilides is a sports broadcaster working on radio and TV in London and Madrid. You can also follow Phil on Twitter.