Olympiacos vs Arsenal
Arsenal are all set to meet Olympiacos in the Europa League for the second time in successive seasons. The Greeks knocked the Gunners out in the round of 32 last year in dramatic fashion as they scored in the last minute of extra-time to go through on away goals.
Arsenal will now be out to avenge that defeat to the Greeks as they return to the Stadio Georgios Karaiskakis.
The Gunners have a great record at the stadium; they beat Olympiacos last season as well as Benfica in their round-of-32 second leg last month.
But with the experience of last season’s tie, coupled with the inside information of a former Arsenal man, Olympiacos will be ready for the Gunners this time around.
Arsenal veterans coming good
Arsenal remain quite inconsistent in the Premier League. They followed up their big away win over Leicester by drawing 1-1 away to Burnley last time out. Granit Xhaka’s error led to Chris Wood’s equaliser after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had given them an early lead.
Over their last seven league games, the Gunners have won two, lost three, and drawn two, which is a big reason why they remain stuck in 10th place.
Their Europa League 2021 results tell a much different story, though. They are undefeated in their eight matches in this year’s competition, with seven wins. No wonder the Europa League 2021 betting odds have the Gunners as one of the favourites to win it all.
Although, they were given all they could handle by Benfica in the round of 32. Benfica had a 2-1 lead in the second leg, but Arsenal fought back to win 4-3 in aggregate.
After a rough first half of the season, Aubameyang has bounced back in a big way over the last few months. The Gunners skipper has now scored nine goals in his last 11 games.
Similarly, Willian is finally finding his best form of late. The veteran winger has assisted a goal in each of his last three appearances.
With Emile Smith Rowe still a fitness doubt, Willian is a strong favourite to retain his place in the Gunners’ attack alongside breakout star Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard. Saka has been excellent in the Europa League this season, with a goal and three assists in four matches.
Olympiacos have Gunners insider
Olympiacos are back in the Europa League round of 16 once again after they took care of PSV Eindhoven 5-4 on aggregate.
The Greeks won the first leg at home 4-2 but needed a late Ahmed Hassan Mahgoub away goal in the second leg to secure qualification.
Olympiacos will head into the first leg coming off a comfortable 3-0 win over Lamia over the weekend. Top scorer Youssef El-Arabi broke his three-match goalless drought as he scored his 18th goal in 22 league games.
El-Arabi is once again expected to lead the line with Mohamed Mady Camara, Bruma, and veteran Frenchman Mathieu Valbuena in support.
Meanwhile, Sokratis Papastathopoulos is set to meet his old club after leaving Arsenal in January. The 32-year-old defender has apparently already shared all the inside information he has on Arsenal to his team-mates, so they should be well-prepared for the Gunners’ attack.
However, Olympiacos have had their problems at home in this competition. They have won just two of their 11 home matches in the knockout phase of the Europa League, with five draws and four defeats. They also lost at home to English opposition – Manchester City – in the Champions League group stage.
As mentioned earlier, these two clubs met just last season in the round of 32. Arsenal won the first leg in Greece 1-0 thanks to a late Alexandre Lacazette goal.
Olympiacos sent the tie to extra-time in the second leg, where the Gunners struck through Aubameyang. However, El-Arabi scored in the last minute of extra-time to send Olympiacos through.
The Gunners have been great on the travels in Europe, though. They are undefeated in their last 10 European away matches (seven wins, three draws) and have won their two previous Europa League round of 16 ties.
On the other hand, Olympiacos have never gotten past this round of the competition in three previous attempts.
|Olympiacos vs Arsenal||Olympiacos Asian Handicap +0.50 @ 1.91|
|March 12, 04:00 (GMT+8)|
SBOTOP odds have Arsenal installed as 2.00 favourites to pick up another win at Piraeus. Olympiacos are only 3.45 to win at home, while a draw is similarly priced at 3.45.
This is quite a tricky match to pick, for the most part because Arsenal have been so up-and-down all season. And while they have been better in Europe, winning for the third time in a row in Greece will be a challenge.
The Arsenal defence continues to have too many holes — they have kept just one clean sheet in their last 11 matches in all competitions — so Olympiacos have a decent chance of coming away with at least a draw in the first leg at home.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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