Olympiakos vs Besiktas Prediction, Preview, Lineups and Betting Tips
Not only games facing clubs from one country but also a fierce regional rivalry attracts serious attention on Thursday night when the UEFA Europa League returns to action, as Olympiacos takes on Besiktas. Hosts from Greece already eliminated one Turkish team in the round of 32 but they failed to impress at their “Stadio Georgios Karaiskakis” in Piraeus, while few weeks later they will host against current Süper Lig leaders.
H2H Stats – Olympiacos vs Besiktas: Both clubs were drawn together in the preliminary round of the 1958/59 European Champion Clubs’ Cup when Greek club decided to withdrew due to political problems between Turkey and Greece.
Decades later Olympiacos and Besiktas will meet for the very first time in a competitive match and their two-legged duel promises true passion by both squads, whether the game is in Greece or in Turkey.
Greek champion knocked out an ambitious team of Osmanlispor last round and Olympiacos will have to show more at home turf when Besiktas arrives in Athens. Turkish champions were close to reaching elimination phase of the UEFA Champions League but now “The Black and Whites” are eager to leave a mark in the Europa League.
Besiktas already have two matches with Greek sides in the UEFA tournaments as they drew in both occasions – 1-1 in Istanbul and 2-2 away against Asteras Tripolis in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League group phase.
Olympiacos gathered more match practice against Turkish clubs as “The Legend” has five previous fixtures, having won twice, lost twice and drew once.
Europa League: Olympiacos vs Besiktas 09.03.2017
Besiktas heads to Greece with confidence as “The Black Eagles” have scored in 16 of their last 17 European games. Only exception cost them position in the UEFA Champions League 1/8 finals when Besiktas lost 6-0 from Dynamo Kyiv, as the December night in Ukrainian capital will be remembered with some controversial decisions by the referee.
In the meantime Besiktas does very well with an objective to retain its Turkish Süper Lig trophy and “Black Eagles” defend their nest on the peak once again. Senol Gunes’ side won fifth game in a row last weekend when a narrow success over Rizespor came on the day when Besiktas celebrated its 104th anniversary – club has been founded on 4 March 1903. Victory at the new “Vodafone Arena” in Istanbul was preceded by another massive result earlier in the same week, when Besiktas won derby against Galatasaray on enemy territory. After two 1-0 wins in the Süper Lig, Besiktas confidently marches towards 15th league trophy as “The Black and Whites” have four points more from a second-placed Istanbul Basaksehir, 10 above Galatasaray and 12 over Fenerbahce.
Olympiacos are famous with their absolute hegemony in Greece and season 2016-17 is not making an exception. Nevertheless, club’s president Evangelos Marinakis has shown lack of patience once more and he fired Paulo Bento after a 2-0 loss from PAOK on Sunday night. Match in Thessaloniki was the last one for Portuguese coach who took the helm at Olympiacos in summer of 2016, after a failure in the Champions League qualifiers. Bento was appointed as a successor of Spaniard Víctor Sánchez, who led Olympiacos in only two games.
Indeed, it’s not pleasing when you lose to a rival but only few days earlier Olympiacos won over Atromitos in Athens (1-2) and qualified for the Greek Cup semi-finals. Meanwhile, Olympiacos is still ahead in the Superleague with six points more from Panionios and although “The Legend” comes after three consecutive league wins, reigning champions are still with great chances on three different fronts. However, all leagues losses were against other clubs in top part of the table and Olympiacos did not score in any of them – losing 1-0 to AEK, 0-1 vs Panionios and recently mentioned defeat from PAOK.
Match Preview: Team News, Squads and Missing Players
Apparently Paulo Bento couldn’t meet the requirements of board and fans and Greek champions will be managed by an interim manager. That is the U19 coach Vasilis Vouzas who will have a tricky challenge against an experienced personality like Senol Gunes.
Vouzas will have to choose his lineup without injured goalkeeper Stefanos Kapino who recovers from a hip injury, so Italian Nicola Leali will deputize once again. Brazilian centre-back Bruno Viana who was sent off with a straight red card in first leg vs Osmanlispor already missed second leg in Ankara and remains suspended for first match against Besiktas. Probably Manuel da Costa will replace him as a partner of Alberto Botía, while rotations are likely up front.
André Martins can return in midfield at the expense of Athanasios Androutsos, unless Vasilis Vouzas doesn’t plan to rely on players from his youth selection. Winger Georgios Manthatis is another youngster who claims a starting spot and he can replace Tarik Elyounoussi at the right flank. Latter can start as a left winger since it was confirmed that Seba is injured and will miss not only first game but second leg in Istanbul as well.
Apart from available absentees, main blow over Olympiacos came in the winter. Greek club was left by key midfielder Luka Milivojevic who joined Crystal Palace, as well as by Nigerian top scorer Brown Ideye, who joined the Chinese Tianjin Teda days ago.
Besiktas surely follows situation in its Greek opposition and Turks will try to take advantage out of it. Senol Gunes can be delighted by an outgoing transfer of Brown Ideye who could be the biggest threat for his defensive line. Now he should cope with players who are not from the same quality and Gunes will rely on his best men, undoubtedly. Especially when he won’t be able to use Gökhan Gönül and Ricardo Quaresma in upcoming weekend Süper Lig fixture against Kayserispor.
Gönül, who scored the winning goal, and Quaresma were booked against Rizespor and they will serve a suspension next round. This makes them fully focused on the upcoming Europa League tie so expectations are that Gönül and Quaresma will push through the right wing for Besiktas.
Dusko Tosic is also available for selection as he serves a suspension in Turkey.
Left defender Caner Erkin, midfielder Necip Uysal and a long-term absentee Demba Ba form the injured trio for Turkish champion, whilst Rhodolfo, Ersan Gülüm, Veli Kavlak are not eligible for selection in the Europa League.
Olympiacos Piraeus vs Besiktas Betting Prediction
Expectations on that game are higher not only because it meets clubs from nations that are usually aspiring a lot in UEFA competitions, but due to rivalry between Greece and Turkey. Something that carries additional pressure and significance of that clash.
Olympiacos seems to be not so effective in attack and Vasilis Vouzas won’t have enough time to have an overall impact.
On other hand Besiktas realize that game in Greece can bring them positives and they will try to earn something. Senol Gunes can not afford a defensive approach against a Greek side in the second leg, where Besiktas will have to press more, perhaps being enthusiastic from fanatical home crowd.
Oly’s coach is well aware of that circumstance and he knows that his team can be more dangerous on counter-attacks, so we believe even a draw suits the Greek team. Something like in match against Osmanlispor when the first leg ended with a scoreless draw, while Greek club showed lethal finishing in Turkey.
We expect careful approach and caution on every action by both clubs here. A good argument why “under” seems to be a reasonable choice on that match and our betting prediction recommends the odds for “Under 2 Goals” between Olympiacos and Besiktas. That market is part from the Asian Handicap betting system, meaning if there are exactly two goals in it, your stake will be credited back into your cashier.
Venue: “Stadio Georgios Karaiskakis”, Piraeus.
Referee: Danny Makkelie from the Netherlands.
Possible Lineups of Olympiacos Piraeus and Besiktas
Olympiacos Piraeus: Nicola Leali – Aly Cissokho, Manuel da Costa, Alberto Botía, Diogo Figueiras – André Martins, Panagiotis Retsos – Tarik Elyounoussi, Kostas Fortounis, Georgios Manthatis – Karim Ansarifard. (4-2-3-1)
Besiktas JK: Fabri – Adriano, Dusko Tosic, Marcelo, Gökhan Gönül – Atiba Hutchinson, Oguzhan Özyakup – Ryan Babel, Talisca, Ricardo Quaresma – Cenk Tosun. (4-2-3-1)