Saturday, August 15, 2020

Prediction: Olympiacos vs Wolverhampton

Verdict: Over 2,5 total goals – yes

Best Odds: 27/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

Olympiacos and Wolverhampton Wanderers will play Thursday in the first leg of the 2019-20 UEFA Europa League Round of 16. This fixture will be held behind closed doors, however, as there are nationwide fears regarding the coronavirus on Greek soil. Neither side has anything to lose, though, so we could be in line for a very open contest. Kick-off for this match has been scheduled at 20:00 GMT.

Olympiacos

Olympiacos are coming off a 3-2 loss at PAOK in their previous Greek Super League match, but they enter this contest with the morale at an all-time high since they eliminated Arsenal in the previous Europa League round. The loss against PAOK ended a three-game winning streak for the Greek giants, but they should feel confident regarding their chances in this contest. If we look at their home form, then we can see Olympiacos are riding an impressive run of results. The Greek side has won 12 of their last 15 home outings in all competitions (W12, D1, L2), but both defeats have come in European play against Bayern Munich and Arsenal. There’s no question the hosts have enough quality to pull the upset at home against Wolves. However, they have won just once in four matches against Premier League opponents during the current campaign (W1, D1, L2).

Team News

El Arbi Soudani has been listed as out due to a knee injury.

Bruno Gaspar (hamstring) and Bobby Allain (calf) have been listed as doubtful. Both players will be game-time decisions.

Wolverhampton

Wolverhampton have absolutely nothing to lose as they enjoy their return to the European stage in 2019-20. The Wolves have been playing at a very high level all season long, but their recent results suggest they might be getting a bit tired — they have gone W4, D3, L3 in their last 10 games, but at the same time, they are undefeated in four of their last five contests. Wolves got past Espanyol in the previous Europa League round by a 6-3 aggregate score, and they finished in second place of Group K with 13 points out six games (W4, D1, L1). Their qualifying campaign saw them get past Crusaders, Pyunik Yerevan and Torino, winning all six games and conceding just four times during that stretch. They averaged over three goals per game in the qualifying run and have looked excellent on the European stage. Can they take another step in the right direction here?

Team News

Jonny Castro and Morgan Gibbs-White have been ruled out of this game. Both players are dealing with ankle issues.

Star winger Adama Traore is doubtful due to a shoulder injury. However, the Spaniard is widely expected to start here.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Three of Wolves’ last five UEFA Europa League away games have produced over 4.5 total goals.
  • Counting only 90 minutes, however, four of Olympiacos’ last five matches in all competitions have produced under 2.5 goals scored.
  • This will be the first ever meeting between these two sides. In fact, this is Wolves’ first UEFA encounter with opponents from Greece.
  • Olympiacos have played four matches against English opposition this season and have posted a W1, D1, L2 mark.
  • Wolves are undefeated when playing on the road in Europe this season. They have posted a W5, D1 record in five matches.

Conclusion

Three of Wolves’ last five away matches have ended with at least five goals. Olympiacos are not going to back down by any means, though. This game has all the makings to be an open encounter. We should be in line for at least three total goals.

Verdict: Over 2,5 total goals – yes

Best Odds: 27/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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