Our prediction for this Champions League match:
Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium will host Wednesday’s Champions League qualifier between Olympiakos and Neftchi Baku. Olympiakos head into the match following back-to-back wins over Univ. Craiova and Aris (friendlies), and they are likely to adopt yet another attack-minded approach. The Thrylos are a real force to be reckoned with at home, and given their experience in European competitions, home win should definitely be considered.
A man to keep an eye on in the home team will be Morocco attacker Youssef El-Arabi, who scored 22 goals in the Greek top flight last term. The Azeri, on the other hand, set up a meeting with Olympiakos by beating Dinamo Tbilisi in the double-header. Neftci proved their worth in round 1, but seeing that the Thrylos have turned their Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium into a real fortress, we predict that the visitors are going to Azerbaijan empty-handed.
Highlighted Player (Yann M Vila):
Formerly a blistering talent and one of the most promising youngsters in French football, Yann M’Vila ended up being a class book example of a player who made all the wrong choices. Having started his career at the age of six with ES Sains-Saint-Fussein, M’Villa was quick to turn heads of the big boys. He was given a chance to move through youth ranks at Rennes where he was given a professional debut in 2009 but it was not long after that his problematic lifestyle came back to haunt him.
Yann M’Villa got suspended from all national teams after an unauthorized night out while on U21 duty with France, a ban which left mark on his club career as well. Despite interest from the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham, M’Villa was sold to Rubin kazan in January 2013 which was the time his nomadic experience as a footballer began.
Spells as Inter Milan and Sunderland failed to help him get back to prominence and meet the early expectations, however. Currently a St Etienne player, M’Villa is hoping to re-establish himself back in his homeland.
Highlighted Team (Olympiacos):
Olympiakos are regarded as one of the biggest club in Greece. The Thrylos were founded back in 1925 and they play their home games at Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus. The capacity of the stadium is 33 296. In 2016 Olympiakos won their 43rd Greek Superleague trophy and it has to be noted that they clinched their sixth consecutive domestic title.
However, the club’s biggest success came in 1999 as they participated in the Champions League quarter-finals. The Red and whites were beaten by Juventus in the two-legged tie. It is well known that Panathinaikos are considered the club’s bitterest rivals and the two teams share a great and long-standing rivalry.
The likes of AEK and PAOK are regarded as Olympiakos’ fierce opponents as well. The likes of Javier Saviola, Kevin Mirallas, Darko Kovacevic, Lomana LuaLua, Joel Campbell, Rivaldo and Marko Pantelic are notable footballers who played for the club in the past. Olympiakos fans are friends with Red Star Belgrade supporters.