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[Albion] Brighton & Hove Albion vs AEK Athens *** Official Match Thread ***

Dick Head

Jan 3, 2010

Albion v AEK Athens


The American Express Stadium
Date: Thursday 21st September 2023
Kick-off: 20:00 BST
Referee: Kristo Tohver 🇪🇪
Assistants: Silver Kõiv 🇪🇪, Sten Klaasen 🇪🇪
Fourth Official: Joonas Jaanovits 🇪🇪
VAR: Juan Martínez Munuera 🇪🇸
Additional VAR: Pol van Boekel 🇳🇱
UEFA Referee Observer: Kóstas Kapitanís 🇨🇾
UEFA Delegate: Marcin Stefański 🇵🇱

Brighton boss Roberto de Zerbi says his side "cannot lose our DNA" in their debut European season.

Albion host AEK Athens in the Europa League group stages, the first European game in the club's history.

"We are improving, but we are not a big, big team yet - but we are a good team," De Zerbi said.

"We believe in ourselves and the quality of the players, the level of the club, the quality of the play - but we are Brighton, we know our level."

Albion, who reached Europe by finishing sixth in the Premier League last season, are second favourites behind Liverpool to win the tournament with bookmakers.

The Italian added: "We have the ambition to become better and better, step by step in every competition and in every game.

"The way how we will play and can compete can give us an upgrade - but when I am speaking about, 'we are Brighton' it is because we cannot forget where we have started and who we were.

"We cannot lose our DNA - because if we think, 'we are better', then we make a big mistake."

Spain forward Ansu Fati could make his first start for the club since a loan move from Barcelona.

Pervis Estupinan and Facundo Buonanotte are likely to be involved after missing the weekend's win over Manchester United following international duty, while Solly March is expected to be fit following a muscle injury.

Midfielder Pascal Gross is likely to make his European debut at the age of 32. The German, who joined Albion in 2017, scored in Saturday's 3-1 win at Old Trafford.

"This occasion will mean a lot. I have been watching European football all my life so this is a proud moment," he said.

"I am looking forward to it and I want to enjoy it, but I also want to win the game.

"I never thought we could come this far, it's incredible how far we've grown - especially in the last year.

"We are happy with where we are now but we can keep growing all the time."

Roberto De Zerbi and Pascal Gross's AEK Athens Press Conference

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Living the dream
Apr 23, 2015
Shoreham Beaaaach

I hope that the occasion doesn't overwhelm us. I think we're a better footballing side but AEK have much more experience. Still a first home game vs a half decent European side is a perfect start.

I think the Man Utd win will give us the extra bit of confidence to get a result.

Seagull's Return

Active member
Nov 7, 2003
Flying in this afternoon for the game, can’t quite believe the whole thing really. Will even dig out my old Sandtex, which had been tacked to the ceiling of a Lincoln pub when we played them last game of the 97-98 season (I had that horrible deck chair shirt, and swapped it). Nobody likes the sight of some pissed-up old gammon in an ancient footie shirt, but… we’ve come a long, long way together.


Well-known member
Apr 10, 2023
oh my days what a match thread it’s 6.57 am and I’m already pumped know when the Albion walk out at 7-55 pm tonight the onions will be strong in the swc

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