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Europa League preview: Arsenal odds-on favourites to beat Olympiacos

By on March 15, 2021

pierre-emerick aubameyang arsenal 2020

Arsenal will be high on confidence when they take on Olympiacos in the second leg of our Europa League last-16 tie on Thursday night.

We produced a superb display to beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 in the North London Derby on Sunday afternoon with Alexandre Lacazette and Martin Odegaard scoring the all-important goals at the Emirates.

That victory not only gives us the local bragging rights, but it’s given our chances of finishing in the top six a huge boost. Arsenal still sit 10th in the Premier League table but we’re now just five points off sixth-placed Everton and have a favourable run-in so we could still qualify for Europe via the league.

However, Mikel Arteta will be fully focussed on the Europa League this week as that’s still arguably Arsenal’s best chance of salvaging something from what’s been a hugely frustrating season so far.

We dominated the first leg against Olympiacos last week and came from behind to secure a deserved 3-1 win so we just need to finish the job in the home leg on Thursday night to book our place in the quarter-finals.

Betting odds

Arsenal are the heavy 2/5 favourites to win the game on Thursday so we should be one of the best football bets today as anything other than a home win would be a huge shock.

If you fancy an upset then you can back Olympiacos as odds of 13/2 to win the match while the draw is available at 15/4 but I can’t see past anything other than a comfortable Arsenal win.

It’s not often I make sure soccer betting tips as football can be very unpredictable but an Arsenal victory on Thursday should be the closest thing to a ‘banker’ as you’ll see this week.

For those who like to bet on exact scores, Arsenal to win 3-0 looks tempting at odds of 15/2. Our defence doesn’t often keep clean sheets so perhaps a repeat of the first leg scoreline is more likely. You can back Arsenal to win 3-1 at odds of 10/1.

Saka could miss out

Sadly, Bukayo Saka was forced off at half-time during the win over Tottenham after picking up a hamstring injury in the first half. Arteta says the attacker is now a doubt to face Olympiacos so that would be a blow if he was to miss out.

Thankfully, Arsenal have options in attack as Nicolas Pepe and Willian are fit to come in while Gabriel Martinelli is also another option – although he’s struggled for game-time in recent weeks.

Otherwise, Arsenal have no other injury concerns to worry about so Arteta has virtually a fully-fit squad to choose from. If he wants to freshen things up, Hector Bellerin, Dani Ceballos, Rob Holding and Mo Elneny are pushing for recalls.

Captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is also expected to be recalled after he was axed for the Tottenham game for turning up late for the pre-match talk.

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