Prediction & odds for the game: Olympiacos (21/10) v Wolves (13/10)
When: Thursday, 12th March 2020 @ 8pm K.O
Where: Karaiskakis Stadium
Olympiacos and Wolverhampton Wanderers will battle behind closed doors in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 16 clash this Thursday night.
After a sensational unbeaten league campaign and a shock win over Arsenal to send them through to the round of 16, Olympiacos are understandably flying higher than most could’ve anticipated they would this season. If they can progress against Wolves then they’ll be the first side to beat two English teams in consecutive knockout rounds since Bayern Munich in the 2013/14 campaign, and based on their current run, it wouldn’t be all too surprising to see that happen.
Defensively speaking Olympiacos are going well right now, having not conceded domestically in their last four games with wins over Atromitos, Panionios, PAOK Salonika and Panetolikos. They did slip to a narrow 1-0 defeat at the hands of Arsenal in the first leg of their round of 32 tie, but a 2-1 win in extra time secured the upset.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s men are in the mix in the Premier League and they’re amongst the favourites to win the Europa League. At the start of the campaign both of those eventualities were considered to be unlikely, and that’s a testament to the success of the operation that has been put in place at the club in the last few years. The sky really is the limit for them and if they can keep building this, and start to maintain some consistency, there’s no question that they’ll continue to be considered one of the top clubs in English football.
Wolves were able to bounce back from a somewhat disappointing 0-0 draw to Leicester with a 4-0 hammering of Espanyol and a 3-0 masterclass against Norwich. They dropped the second leg 3-2 to Espanyol but still went through, before coming from behind to beat Tottenham 3-2 in a sensational game. Unfortunately, they couldn’t edge past Brighton in a dull 0-0 stalemate.
The lack of any real atmosphere should play into the hands of Wolves, given the fact that the Greeks tend to thrive off of their own home crowd more often than not. While Olympiacos were able to stifle Arsenal we just think Wolves have a more complete side, too, and that should guide them towards a decent result here. Alas, we do think they’ll just fall short of the win, but they will manage to get an away goal on the scoresheet to set themselves up nicely for the return fixture at Molineux next week.
We think the scoreline is going to end up at 1-1 after a tactical affair, ensuring we settle into the under 2.5 goals market.
Verdict: Back the draw at odds of 9/4 and the under 2.5 goals scored at odds of 4/7. (All odds are taken from bet365).