Olympiakos play host to Manchester United in the first leg of their round of 16 Champions League match this Tuesday. In my preview for this match-up I have included my prediction along with betting odds.
This season Olympiakos is absolutely running away with the Greek Super League. They are in first with 74 points and ahead of second place PAOK by 23 points, as well as having drawn just twice and lost none.
In the Champions League Group stages they finished second behind PSG with 10 points having won 3, drawn one and lost two. During their campaign they scored 10 goals while allowing eight. They did average just over one goal per game and also kept two clean sheets.
Olympiakos has three players injured, though they are all questionable and could be ready for Tuesday, including Dimitris Siovas, Nelson Valdez, and Jose Holebas.
While much of United’s season has been shambolic, they have at least had some success in the Champions League. In their Premier League campaign they still have a distant hope of reaching a European place as they currently sit in sixth place with 45 points, but are still well behind Liverpool and Tottenham.
Manchester United reached the knockout round after winning Group A rather comfortably. Their 14 points came from a 4-2-0 record and a +9 goal difference. They scored 12 goals with an average of two per game and a conversion rate of 16%. Even better was allowing just three goals, an average of half a goal per game and a conversion rate of 4%. They also kept four clean sheets out of their six matches and scored at least four goals in two matches.
Manchester United’s injury list is quite long with both Nani and Jonny Evans as long term problems. Others that could be questionable additions at match time are Javier Hernandez, Phil Jones, Rafael da Silva, and Danny Welbeck.
My pick is a Manchester United away win. They have started to build some momentum recently and the Champions League is a competition in which they have done well this season. Olympiakos are a team that should not be underestimated even if they did lose their leading goal scorer Kostas Mitroglu. With Javier Saviola still playing they do have a veteran player who could give them a chance.
Betting Odds (Bovada):
Olympiacos win: 5/2; Draw: 47/20; Manchester United win: 23/20
Recent Form: Olympiakos (W, W, W, W, W, W) Man United (L, W, L, D, D, W)
Prediction: Olympiakos 1 – 2 Manchester United
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