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Oct 21, 2020 at 8pm UK at Stadio Georgios Karaiskáki
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Preview: Olympiacos vs. Marseille - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Champions League clash between Olympiacos and Marseille, including team news and predicted lineups.

Olympiacos and Marseille will both be looking to build on weekend victories in their respective leagues when the two sides lock horns at the Stadio Georgios Karaiskakis in the Champions League on Wednesday evening.

The hosts marched to a comfortable 4-0 triumph over Atromitos Athens on Saturday, while Marseille overcame Bordeaux 3-1 in Ligue 1 last time out.

Match preview

Olympiacos coach Pedro Martins before the match on February 27, 2020© Reuters

Olympiacos made headlines last season when they sent Arsenal packing at the last-32 stage of the Europa League before succumbing to a 2-1 aggregate defeat to another Premier League side in Wolverhampton Wanderers in the round of 16.

Prior to their Europa League venture, the perennial Greek champions had finished third in their Champions League group behind Bayern Munich and Tottenham Hotspur - marking the fifth time in a row that Olympiacos had failed to advance to the knockout round of Europe's elite competition.

While Pedro Martins will be eyeing a first top-two finish in the group stage for Olympiacos since the 2013-14 campaign, a group including Marseille, Porto and Manchester City will pose enormous challenges for the Greek Super League champions, but Thrylos will be cautiously optimistic having started the new season in terrific fashion.

Martins's side have won three and drawn one in the 2020-21 Greek Super League and boast a stellar goal difference of +9 at this early stage - scoring 10 and conceding just one in the top division thus far - with Youssef El Arabi coming off the bench to bag a hat-trick in his side's 4-0 thrashing of Atromitos at the weekend.

Olympiacos were forced to go down the playoff path to secure a route into the Champions League group stage, and the Greek champions overcame Cypriot side Omomia 2-0 at home before a goalless stalemate a week later confirmed Olympiacos's qualification for Group C.

Andre Villas-Boas in charge of Marseille on February 8, 2020© Reuters

Meanwhile, Marseille were tasked with trying to end a run of 1-1 stalemates against a Bordeaux side who have become renowned for their defensive capabilities in the French top flight.

However, Les Girondins were swept aside by Marseille as Andre Villas-Boas saw his team storm to a 3-1 victory in gameweek seven - their first victory since their memorable derby triumph over Paris Saint-Germain last month.

Goals from Florian Thauvin, Jordan Amavi and an own goal from Pablo saw Marseille record their third league win of the season, and Marseille will endeavour to carry that momentum forward as they return to the big stage in Europe after a seven-year absence this week.

A resounding victory in the league is just what Villas-Boas needed before Marseille prepare to take to the pitch in Europe's elite competition for the first time since the 2013-14 campaign, in which the Ligue 1 side recorded zero points in a challenging group which included Arsenal, Napoli and Borussia Dortmund.

Olympiacos and Marseille last met in the group stage of the 2011-12 Champions League, with Les Olympiens enjoying a 1-0 victory in Greece before Olympiacos prevailed by the same scoreline at the Orange Velodrome.

Olympiacos Champions League form: WD
Olympiacos form (all competitions): WWWDDW

Marseille form (all competitions): WLDDDW

Team News

Olympiacos' Youssef El-Arabi celebrates scoring their second goal as Arsenal players look dejected on February 27, 2020© Reuters

El Arabi - also the hero of the hour against Arsenal in the Europa League last season - is sure to start this one after netting three times off the bench for Olympiacos last time out.

Aside from that, Martins is unlikely to make many changes from the side that dispatched Atromitos with ease, with two veterans in Rafinha and Mathieu Valbuena set to occupy the right-hand side.

With regards to Marseille, Dimitri Payet sat out the weekend victory over Bordeaux through suspension but is available here, meaning that Villas-Boas may switch back to his favoured 4-3-3 formation.

However, there may be a change up top for the visitors as Dario Benedetto was forced off with a twisted ankle on Saturday, meaning that Valere Germain could spearhead the Olympiens attack, although Villas-Boas hinted at playing Payet as a number nine after the win over Bordeaux.

Centre-back Duje Caleta-Car is another doubt after suffering an injury in the same area in the weekend victory, with Leonardo Balerdi ready to deputise in the heart of defence if required.

Olympiacos possible starting lineup:
Sa; Rafinha, Ba, Cisse, Cholevas; M'Vila, Camara; Valbuena, Fortounis, Masouras; El Arabi

Marseille possible starting lineup:
Mandanda; Sakai, Gonzalez, Balerdi, Amavi; Kamara, Strootman, Sanson; Thauvin, Germain, Payet

SM words green background

We say: Olympiacos 2-2 Marseille

This is a difficult game to call between two sides who would do extremely well to pip City or Porto to the top two spots in Group C. Olympiacos and Marseille will both be full of confidence heading into this match following impressive victories at the weekend, but we cannot separate the two clubs and are ultimately backing a high-scoring draw on Wednesday evening.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:curl

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Olympiacos coach Pedro Martins before the match on February 27, 2020
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Thursday's key events

· The women's heptathlon continues with the long jump, javelin and 800m, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson now out of contention following an injury (1.10am-1.40pm)
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· London 2012 champion Kirani James goes up against current world champion Steven Gardiner in the men's 400m final (1pm)

· One of the toughest Olympic events takes place in Tokyo Bay as GB's Hector Pardoe takes on the men's 20km marathon swim (10.30pm Wed)

· Galal Yafai takes on takes on Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov for a spot in the gold medal bout of the fly (48kg-52kg) class (6.48am)

· Lois Toulson and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (daughter of First Dates' Fred Sirieix) line up for the women's 10m platform (semi-final 2am; final 7am)

· Australia face Belgium in the men's final (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
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