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Olympiacos vs Arsenal: Preview, team news, how to watch + prediction

By on February 19, 2020

dani ceballos arsenal

Arsenal travel to Athens to take on Olympiacos in the first leg of our Europa League last-32 tie on Thursday night.

We ended up making hard work of qualification to the knockout stages but eventually managed to finish top of Group F on 11 points – 2 ahead of Eintracht Frankfurt – despite not winning any of our last three games.

As group winners Arsenal were able to avoid the big boys in the last-32 draw but we were still given a tricky test after being paired with Olympiacos – who we’ve played several times in recent years.

The Greek outfit dropped into the Europa League after finishing third in their Champions League group behind Tottenham and Bayern Munich but we know it will be a tough game away from home so they shouldn’t be underestimated.

Arsenal warmed up for the game with an impressive 4-0 victory over Newcastle United at the weekend but we still remain well off the pace in the race for the top four so the Europa League is arguably our biggest priority.

Team News

Arsenal will be without Mesut Ozil as he’s missed the trip to Athens to attend the birth of his newborn baby while Lucas Torreira hasn’t travelled due to illness. The midfielder may still travel on his own if his condition improves over the next 24 hours.

Kieran Tierney has stepped-up his recovery from a shoulder injury but this game still comes too soon while Cedric Soares is still nursing a knee injury that he was carrying when he arrived from Southampton last month.

Calum Chambers is obviously still out following knee surgery but January signing Pablo Mari is in contention to make his debut after the centre-back played for the U23’s on Monday.

Arteta could freshen things up with Alexandre Lacazette, Matteo Guendouzi, Emi Martinez, Sead Kolasinac and Gabriel Martinelli pushing for recalls. Dani Ceballos is expected to keep his place after an impressive performance against Newcastle.

How to watch

The game will be broadcast live on BT Sport, kicking off at 8pm. For those who haven’t got access to BT Sport you can watch a football live stream of the game online at a number of outlets. Highlights will also be shown by BT Sport later on Thursday night and the following day.

Prediction

Arsenal have found wins hard to come by this season, particularly away from home, and I’m expecting this to be a tough test for Arteta’s side. Olympiacos will make it a hostile atmosphere and they’ll be desperate to prove themselves against one of Europe’s elite clubs. An away goal could be important so I hope Arsenal don’t sit back and defend too much as that’s not playing to our strengths.

We have the ‘Arsenal’ to hurt Olympiacos so if we can see-out the opening 20 minutes and keep the crowd quiet I think we can come home with a result. I’m going for a 1-1 draw, which would be a decent result to take back to the Emirates.

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