ARSENAL begin their Europa League knockout journey in Greece on Thursday night. Anthony Olsson (@Ant_olsson93) analyses the encounter.
Olympiakos v Arsenal | Thursday 20th February 2020, 20:00 | BT Sport
Arsenal travel to Greece to take on Olympiakos in the first leg of the Last 32 in the Europa League. The Gunners have been in better form of late and their last outing against Newcastle seemed to show a big improvement as they ran out 4-0 winners.
Under Mikel Arterta, Arsenal have lost just once and they’ll be keen to carry that good run of results on and take a solid scoreline back to London for the second leg.
Arsenal will be up against an Olympiakos side that haven’t lost since their 4-2 defeat to Tottenham way back in November. Their 18-game unbeaten run is impressive but It's tough to know how strong their form is as the Greek Super League isn't known for being one of Europe’s elite but I'm sure they’ll go into the game with nothing to lose.
The hosts might look to their recent record at home against Arsenal for inspiration, having won three of their last four meetings with the Gunners in their Piraeus surroundings.
As I've said previously, it’s tough to know how strong Olympiakos’ form is but having qualified for the Champions League and having held Spurs to a draw at home, I think they could pose a few problems for a Gunners side that will probably make a few changes.
Arsenal’s away record in the Premier League leaves a lot to be desired and during the Europa League so far, they managed one win on their travels in the group stage, drawing the other two fixtures. The draw angle does take my eye in this game at 12/5 (Bet365).
I think we could see a cagey affair in a difficult climate for the visitors and if there are changes to the Arsenal side, I don’t see them carrying on the same fluency that they had on Sunday.
Another angle I like in this match is for both teams to find the back of the net. Olympiakos have scored in every home game this season and they’ll be confident of doing so again in what should be a red-hot atmosphere against an Arsenal side who have conceded in five out of their last seven away.
The Gunners have also found the back of the net in five out of their last seven on the road and so I’m happy to take the 4/6 (William Hill) on Both Teams To Score.
This will be an intriguing affair and it will be interesting to see what type of team Arterta puts out. He could change a few players to rest his stars for a push for Champions League qualification via the league or he could go with a strong side and try to keep the momentum going from Sunday’s big victory.
Olympiakos v Arsenal – Draw (12/5 Bet365)
Olympiakos v Arsenal – Both Teams To Score (4/6 William Hill)