Greek champions Olympiakos begin their quest for a spot in the Champions League underway as they welcome Neftchi Baku. The match schedules for Wednesday at the Georgios Karaiskakis, with kickoff at 10 pm.
The Athens outfit struggled in their previous domestic campaign as they enter the second qualifying round. On the other hand, their opponents mark their first time in this competition.
After winning back to back Super League titles, many fans showed their elation by forcing themselves into the stadium to celebrate. The win marked the side’s 48th championship at the ancient Acropolis ground.
What Coach Pedro Martins will focus on is getting their domestic dominance on the European continental stage. The side finished at the helm with 26 points adrift of second-placed PAOK last season.
However, their recent exploits have seen them fail to progress past this stage. Since their return from summer break, Olympiakos warmed up their pre-season with friendlies against diverse oppositions. The side recorded wins against Krasnador and CSKA Sofia but lost to RB Salsburg and Wolfsberger.
Their last clash to Galatasary was called off under circumstances when two officials refused to comply with the Greek health protocols. Furthermore, the side dropped off the Europa last 16 to Arsenal.
On the other hand, the Azerjaiban Premier League winners come off a win over Spartak Moscow. The side put up eight wins from their last 11 games.
Olympiacos vs Neftchi Baku Head to Head
Both sides are yet to make an encounter against each other, and this marks their first encounter. Here is a look at their previous encounters:
- Olympiacos 3-0 Aris Thessaloniki
- Olympiacos 2-0 Universitatea
- FC olympiacos 1-1 FC Ufa
- CSKA Sofia 1-2 Olympiacos
- Red Bull Salzburg 3-0 Olympiacos
- Neftchi Baku 2-1 Dinamo Tbisili
- Dinamo Tbisili 1-2 Neftchi Baku
- Spartak Moscow 1-2 Neftchi Baku
- NK Domzale 1-2 Neftchi Baku
- NK Olimpija Ljubljana 1-1 Neftchi Baku
Olympiacos Team News
Goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik recently signed a two-year contract with the camp thus could get a start between the sticks. He will take the place of Premier-League bound Jose Sa. However, Tiquinho Soares is unavailable through injury. In addition, Konstantinos Fortounis is sidelined with a cruciate ligament fracture. Centre-back Ousseynou Ba remains suspended for the first leg tie.
Neftchi Baku Team News
Coach Samir Abbasov looks to maintain a 3-5-2 formation setup. Omar Buludov will start on the flanks in favour of Harramiz.
Prediction and Odds
Even though the visitors are building momentum, we expect the hosts to pick up their form this week.
- Olympiacos Win
- Goals Under 3.5
- Both Teams to Score