Heads Up…..on Olympiakos
1) Insight…. Olympiakos are a very aggressive and intense team with a possession based style. Their style will not be as dominant against Arsenal, however.
2) Formation and Potential line up…
3) Absent players…. Soudani is out with an ACL tear. He is their second highest scorer with seven.
4) In form players…… Olympiakos feel like this is their best team in many fan’s lifetime, with all players at or close to the top of their game.
5) Out of form players…. Fortounis took a while to recover from a long injury but is close to his best now.
Valbeuna Key to Greek team
6) Strengths… The connection between Valbuena and El Arabi.
The diminutive Matieu Valbuena has much European and international experience with the French National team and currently has 18 assists with El Arabi on 22 goals.
The return to fitness of Fortounis is a particular threat out wide.
The connections between Valbuena and El Arabi are evident at set plays too.
7) Weaknesses….. Wolves did Arsenal a favour by purchasing Podence in January. He was a huge threat on the right.
The obvious concern for Olympiakos fans is whether their Championship is significant preparation to play a PL team. As you can see with the assists and goals, it is clearly easier to accomplish these stats in Greece than England.
Secondly, they have struggled to play 90 mins at the same level of concentration and are susceptible to big mistakes (first half vs Spurs). Having said that, Arsenal haven’t put two great halves together all season.
Arsenal may plan to use pace from the bench late in the game as Olympiakos have been known to struggle physically after the 60th minute in European games.
8) Possible strategy…. They will come fast early. Try to get the crowd onside as it is an intimidating place.
They tend to play in quarters with fast starts to each half.
PREDICTION….. Olympiakos 0 Arsenal 0
Thank you to @Olympiakosfr for the assistance
Former Highbury regular. Moved to TN, USA in ’99. Married with 3 kids. Coached in UK and US for 27 years.
Mike McDonald Soccer Academy in Morristown TN, Olympic Development coach, Regional Premier League Champion.