Atletico and Olympiakos to scrap for crucial win to qualifying
Champions League Group A table-toppers by three points, Atletico Madrid host nearest rivals Olympiakos, knowing a win (odds-on at 4/11 with Coral) will secure their place in the last 16.
However, they dropped their only points of the campaign so far (from four games) against this opposition in the match opener, and the Greek outfit are 8/1 chances to cause another upset and thus throw the pool wide open.
Olympiakos can also qualify this round with their first victory in Spain and if third-placed Juventus draw away to Malmo, but a share of the spoils for the former with Atleti is a more likely 4/1.
The score was 3-2 to the Greek champions last time out against Diego Simeone’s side, and that outcome in favour of the latter this time around at their Vicente Calderon is an enticing 40/1 price. Atleti have not conceded, though, since that loss, so can be backed at odds-on price of 10/11 to win to nil again.
Last season’s Champions League runners-up and La Liga winners Atletico are in a good run of form of late in all competitions, which has seen them win nine of their previous 11 matches. They are odds-on at 1/3 to top Group A, with Olympiakos priced at 9/1 (and 13/8 to qualify).
For the visitors’ coach Michel, whose side have won just one of their last five away games in all competitions, this is a special occasion, as he played the majority of his career for Atleti’s bitter rivals Real Madrid.
Spaniard Michel spoke ahead of the game, saying: “Atletico will make you suffer. We beat them in Greece because we played a great game and made the most of our chances.
“But we have struggled away from home and the club has never won in Spain in 13 attempts. We will nevertheless try and do our best.”
Uruguay and Atletico centre back Diego Godin, meanwhile, added: “This is a crucial game. In order to qualify and finish top of our group, which is what we want, we must win on Wednesday [November 26th].
“We know that we are playing against a team that beat us in Greece.”
“We are where we want to be,” he added. “We are in the Champions League qualifying positions in the domestic league and we are in good shape. But we know we face a stern test on Wednesday.
“Olympiakos haven’t played a game in 17 days and that means they are well rested ahead of our meeting.”
In terms of goals for the hosts, go for former Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic, who is set to recover from injury. The Croatian netted in this reverse fixture, and is 3/1 to open the scoring.
Barcelona loanee Ibrahim Afellay, meanwhile, was also on target in that match against Atletico, and the Dutchman is 7/2 in the anytime market.