Champions League Group F: Arsenal need two-goal Olympiakos win
Lee Gormley | December 8, 2015
Olympiakos v Arsenal
- Champions League Group F
- Wednesday, December 9th
- Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
- Karaiskakis Stadium, Athens
- Live on BT Sport Europe
Arsenal need two-goal margin victory
After staging a minor recovery from their early Champions League set-backs, Arsenal travel to Greece knowing they need to overcome Olympiakos by two clear goals in order to pip their Group F opponents to second spot and reach a place in the knockout stage.
Arsene Wenger’s Gunners are aiming to reach the last 16 for a 16th successive season, but their European run rests on a strong showing at the Karaiskakis Stadium in Athens, where they must ensure a two-goal margin of victory.
With that in mind, the visiting Londoners are 10/1 with Coral to earn a 2-0 away triumph which would see them progress, while the Greek hosts are 5/2 to inflict European misery on the Gunners with home ruling. A potentially bad omen for Arsenal is the fact they have lost all three away games with Olympiakos, all of which have worryingly taken place on matchday six.
Wenger salutes Sunderland result
Arsenal arrive for their decisive Group F finale on the back of an encouraging 3-1 win over Sunderland, who they were also recently drawn against in the FA Cup third round, and Wenger hailed the win which has lifted both their domestic standing and spirits.
“For our confidence it was vital. I was very nervous because I knew it was a very important game for our season,” stated Wenger, whose side are now second in the Premier League.
“It is better to prepare for the [Olympiakos] game knowing we have won. The one positive thing is we know exactly what to do.
“Most of the time when we have been to Olympiakos we have not had a lot to do because we had already qualified. This time it is the opposite.”
Injury concerns hurting Gunners
The Premier League hopefuls are 13/5 to earn an away win and both teams to score on the travels, but Wenger has a host of injury headaches threatening to derail their European exploits.
Spaniard Santi Cazorla is the latest Gunner to be ruled out, after he suffered a knee injury which will keep him on the sidelines for up to four months, where he will join Francis Coquelin, Danny Welbeck, Tomas Rosicky, Alexis Sanchez, Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere.
Olympiakos are relatively injury-free but Portuguese coach Marco Silva will have to decide whether to thrust fit-again Argentine midfielder Esteban Cambiasso back into the action in place of Luka Milivojevic or Pajtim Kasami. The legendary anchorman spent last season on-loan with current Premier League leaders Leicester City last term and is 11/2 to strike anytime.
Sanchez and Theo Walcott were on target in the previous 3-2 home defeat to the Greeks, and the latter England international speed demon is 6/1 to open proceedings this time around. Meanwhile, former West Bromwich Albion loanee Brown Ideye will return to the fold, after being rested at the weekend, and he is 15/8 to dispatch anytime for the hosts.
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Coral’s top tip: With injuries having hurt Arsenal chances further, it could be a bad European night for the Londoners, so back an Olympiakos win at 5/2.