Thursday, December 12, 2019

Prediction: Olympiakos vs Viktoria Plzen

Verdict: Over 2.5 goals scored – yes

Best Odds: 23/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

The qualifying stages of the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League continue this week, and now it’s time to witness a thrilling encounter between Olympiakos and Viktoria Plzen, two sides that are vying for a spot in the next round of the tournament’s qualifiers. The Greek Super League champions will host the Czech title-holders this Tuesday at Karaiskakis Stadium following a 0-0 draw in the first leg. Kick-off is scheduled at 19:30 BST time. Jose Luis Munuera (Spain) will be the referee.

Olympiakos

Olympiakos will have a huge advantage ahead of this match since they will be at home for a decisive match on their quest to earn a spot in the UEFA Champions League group stage. They left Czech Republic unscathed, but now they have to close things out at home, which might not be as easy as it sounds. Pressure aside, the Greek champions have enough quality to defeat their rivals and also enter this game in blistering form. They have not lost a single game since late February and ended preseason undefeated with two wins and six draws. But they have gone W8, D1 in their last nine competitive matches as well, so they can perform even better when there are points at stake. On paper, Olympiakos start this game as the favourite. But they can’t get complacent.

Team News

Olympiakos will have a big absence ahead of this match since Lazaros Christodoulopoulos has been ruled out due to injury.

They don’t have any other injury concerns, though.

Viktoria Plzen

Viktoria Plzen enter this game as underdogs, but they have a clear edge in comparison to Olympiakos since they already have four competitive matches under their belt as opposed to their opponents’ one – that means they are in better shape for a tightly-contested match where points are at stake. The Czech league champions have gone W3, D1, L1 in their last five away competitive matches, and W6, D2, L2 if we also add friendlies into the mix. That is less than ideal, but still looks as solid form knowing they are forced to secure a positive result on the road. But since they didn’t concede at home in the first leg, they might need just one goal to go through since that would force Olympiakos to score at least twice. Can they deliver and pull another upset on the road?

Team News

Viktoria Plzen should be quite depleted ahead of this decisive match.

Ales Cermak, Ubong Ekpai, Milan Havel and Roman Hubnik have all been ruled out due to injury.

Key Factors to Consider

  • These two teams have never met before before this tie. Therefore, their lone previous competitive match was the scoreless draw in the first leg.
  • Counting friendlies and competitive matches, Olympiakos have not lost since February 28th, when they lost against Lamia in the Greek Cup. They have gone W11, D6 since that loss.
  • Plzen have won each of their three competitive matches this season, scoring eight goals but conceding four over that same span. Both sides have scored in each of those three games.
  • The Czech side are also riding a seven-game undefeated streak (W5, D2) in competitive matches. They went W5, D1, L1 during preseason.
  • The winner of this tie goes into the next round of the Champions League Qualifiers. Meanwhile, the loser will enter the UEFA Europa League qualifying stages.

Conclusion

Plzen’s three competitive matches this season have featured over 2.5 goals. Plus, the same thing happened in each of Olympiakos’ last seven competitive outings dating back to last season.

Expect this game to be quite open so it could easily feature at least three goals combined.

Verdict: Over 2.5 goals scored – yes

Best Odds: 23/20

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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