Man Utd hoping history rather than form can help them qualify
Manchester United won their only previous home games against Olympiakos 4-0 and 3-0. Either of those scorelines will be enough to overturn the Red Devils’ 2-0 Champions League last 16 first leg deficit against the Greeks. Back them at 20/1 and 10/1 to record those respective results.
David Moyes’ side are, however, big underdogs to qualify for the quarter-finals. Their visiting opponents are odds-on at 2/5 to get through to the last eight for the first time since 1999 – the season United won their famous treble.
Defending Premier League champions United are priced odds-on at 1/2 to win in 90 minutes, but 15/8 to qualify as victors from this tie.
The recent demoralising home 3-0 league defeat to arch-rivals Liverpool will have done nothing to help the players’ confidence and, with two losses in their last three games, it doesn’t bode well for the three-time European Cup winners.
United do, however, possess a man who has played four times against Olympiakos – scoring three – and been on the winning side in all of those. He has won 13 Premier League titles, four FA Cups and two Champions Leagues.
Unfortunately, this person is now 40 years of age and last played against the Greek league champions 12 years ago. His name is Ryan Giggs, and contributed just two assists and no goals in his 19 appearances for the club in all competitions this season so far.
Giggs has played a bit-part role this campaign for Moyes, but if unleashed against Olympiakos, has odds of 11/2 to score again anytime.
Arsenal loanee Joel Campbell and Alejandro Dominguez got the goals in the first leg, and they can both be can be backed at 7/2 each to net again in the anytime market.
A stat that Man Utd (40/1 shots for Champions League glory) will be encouraged by is that they have won all five of their home games against Greek opposition, while Olympiakos have amazingly lost all 11 of their trips to England.
The current Super League leaders have been beaten twice since their victory over United in the first leg, after being previously undefeated domestically, so can Moyes’ side capitalise on that slip?