Prediction & odds for the game: Olympiacos (16/5) v Arsenal (10/11) – ST is backing the draw
When: Thursday, 11th March @ 8pm K.O
Where: Karaiskakis Stadium
Arsenal will attempt to gain revenge against the team that knocked them out of the UEFA Europa League last season when they face Olympiacos.
The domestic season has been an embarrassment of riches for Olympiacos who are strolling to the title in the Greek Super League without even really breaking a sweat. They know just how valuable that title will be, but they’ll also understand the value of making some waves in Europe too. The Europa League is a great proving ground and they’ll head into this tie knowing they can beat Arsenal, and having the confidence in themselves to do so again.
Olympiacos are in the Europa courtesy of finishing in third place in their Champions League group this season behind Manchester City and Porto, but ahead of fourth place Marseille on goal difference. They were greeted in the Round of 32 by PSV Eindhoven who they beat 4-2 in the first leg, but in the second, they lost 2-1 and had to hold on for an aggregate win.
Mikel Arteta has had a mixed season as Arsenal manager but the popular opinion is that he needs time and money to really put this team together in his own image. While that hasn’t exactly given him much joy in the Premier League courtesy of how inconsistent they’ve been, the Europa League is the shining beacon of hope that many fans have always said it isn’t. If they can finally win this competition they’ll be back in the Champions League next season, meaning there’s no major pressure on what they do in the EPL.
As the only team in the UCL and UEL to win all six group stage games, Arsenal started off this season’s Europa League journey pretty flawlessly. They beat Molde, Rapid Wien and Dundalk twice before running into a tough test against Benfica in the Round of 32. After a 1-1 draw in the first leg they dug deep to grind out a 3-2 win, ironically in Greece, that brings us to this point.
For Arsenal this is definitely going to be about taking another step towards the trophy, but they also won’t have forgotten about what happened last February. They were humbled by the Greek giants in a big way and there will be a mixture of excitement and trepidation regarding what’s going to happen this time around. We tend to think the second leg will be where the Gunners flourish, with this one being a bit too nervy for them to secure the win.
Our official scoreline prediction is going to be a 1-1 draw, ensuring we stick to the under 2.5 goals marker.
Verdict: Back the draw at odds of 5/2 and the under 2.5 goals scored at odds of 10/11 (All odds are taken from bet365).[geosnippet id=3620]
If you want to bet on Olympiacos vs Arsenal then head on over to the betting page. Alternatively, you can check out some of the other available fixtures on the soccer predictions page as this season’s Europa League drama returns.