Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Prediction: Olympiacos vs Krasnodar

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 20 Aug 2019

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Verdict: Total goals over 2.5

Best odds: 27/20

Bookmaker: Bet365

Olympiacos are set to welcome FC Krasnodar to their Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus, a port practically within the Greek capital of Athens. The match is scheduled to take place on Tuesday evening, and it will be the first leg of the final showdown for a place in the group stages of the Champions League this season.

Olympiacos

Olympiacos finished second in the Super League Greece last season despite winning each of their last five games, five points behind champions PAOK. Their domestic exploits landed them in the second qualifying round for UEFA’s elite club competition this season. They first managed to get past Polish side Plzen trough a goalless away draw and an emphatic 4-0 win at home.  Then it was Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir in the third round who made way for them after the Greeks won both legs, 0-1 and 2-0, respectively.

This summer, Olympiacos added a number of players to the squad. Not counting those returning to the club from loan spells elsewhere, no less than 12 players have joined their ranks – most notably defender Ruben Semedo for €4.5 million, goalkeeper Jose Sa for €2.5 million, and midfielder Svetozar Markovic for €1.5 million.

Team News

Head coach Pedro Martins will be seriously hampered in his intentions to put together a team to his liking with forwards Hugo Cuypers, El Arbi Soudani and Konstantinos Fortounis, midfielder Svetozar Markovic, and defenders Avraam Papadopoulos and Jagos Vukovic.

Krasnodar FC

Krasnodar have the opportunity of being the third team from Russia to compete in the group stages of the Champions League this season, having finished in third place behind Zenit Saint Petersburg and Lokomotiv Moscow. Their previous opponent can only be described as a difficult one – FC Porto, and after they lost to the Portuguese side at home by 0-1, they managed to pull a stunning comeback and win 2-3 in Portugal, going through on away goals. They currently occupy the third place again, behind the same rivals in the same order, but there is a long way to go yet.

Like Olympiacos, Krasnodar have made a number of additions to their squad. The most notable one would arguably be the 32-year-old Sweden international, striker Marcus Berg, who arrived on a free transfer from UAE side Al-Ain FC. They also signed midfielder Remy Cabella for €12 million, along with Tonny Vilhena (€9m), Kaio (€3m) and Younes Namli (€2m). Meanwhile, forward Christian Cueva, who was loaned out to Brazilian side Santos FC, has made the move permanent for €6 million.

Team News

The only player unavailable for this clash should be midfielder Viktor Claesson, and head coach Murad Musaev will have to make do without him.

Conclusion

This contest should be a finely balanced one. Both teams have shown that they’re capable of excellent performances. The stakes are high, the reward for the eventual winners is huge; both in financial terms and in terms of prestige. Expect both teams to put on a good show, as well as to score more than a goal apiece.

Verdict: Total goals over 2.5

Best odds: 27/20

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on four different football blogs.

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