MX23RW : Monday, January 20 09:09:46| >> :600:3500207:3500207:
Dec 11, 2019 at 8pm UK at ​Karaiskakis Stadium
Attendance: 31,898
Olympiacos
1-0
Red StarRed Star Belgrade
El-Arabi (87' pen.)
FT(HT: 0-0)

Preview: Olympiacos vs. Red Star Belgrade - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews the Champions League meeting between Olympiacos and Red Star Belgrade, including a prediction, team news and predicted lineups.

Olympiacos host Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League on Wednesday in a game that will decide which team enters the Europa League.

The Greek side are bottom of Group B on one point, while Red Star are in the driving seat on three points having beaten Olympiacos in the reverse fixture in October.


Match preview

Daniel Podence celebrates scoring for Olympiacos on September 18, 2019© Reuters

Olympiacos started off this European campaign so brightly, coming behind from two goals down to claim a 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur.

Moreover, their last outing, which saw them go 2-0 up away at Spurs only to eventually lose 4-2, was a demonstration of the zip and precision with which this team can play.

A stronger trend, however, has been a proclivity towards sitting back and defending, minimising the amount of goals conceded at the expense of leaving attackers isolated.

For a team that dominates the Greek domestic league in almost unprecedented fashion - they have 44 league titles in their history - it seems strange to see them adopt such a conservative mindset when European football comes around.

Needing to beat Red Star in order to reach the Europa League, Olympiacos must abandon their shackles and look to produce an ambitious attacking performance on Wednesday.

Red Star Belgrade players celebrate Milan Pavkov's goal against Liverpool on November 6, 2018© Reuters

Following so many years away from Europe's top flight, Red Star have endured a difficult second season back in the Champions League.

Their last three games in Europe have seen them lose 5-0, 4-0 and 6-0 - games in which the gulf in class between Red Star and Spurs or Bayern was so clear to see.

Much like Olympiacos, Red Star are a team that dominates its domestic division - they are 10 points clear at the top of the current table - but fails to locate an identity in Europe.

Where the two teams differ, however, is the clear determination on the part of Red Star to attack opponents and score goals, which can have the adverse effect of seeing goals leak at the other end.

Either way, as the two teams - who have a friendship going back several decades - face up against each other, Red Star fans will expect their team to break on Olympiacos at pace whenever they get the chance.

Olympiacos Champions League form: DLLLL
Recent Olympiacos form (all competitions): LWDLDW

Red Star Belgrade Champions League form: LWLLL
Recent Red Star Belgrade form (all competitions): WWLWWW


Team News

Olympiacos defender Pape Abou Cisse pictured in February 2019© Reuters

The home side's only casualty ahead of this game is Pape Abou Cisse, who misses the encounter due to illness.

Red Star, on the other hand, have no injury concerns in preparation for this encounter.

Marko Marin, formerly of Chelsea, will be expected to serve as the link between midfield and attack, which will be led by Ben Nabouhane.

The latter has scored nine goals so far this season and has experience of this competition, netting six times in the qualifying stage last term.

Olympiacos possible starting lineup:
Sa; Sa; Elabdellaoui, Semedo, Papadopoulos, Tsimikas; Guilherme; Bouchalakis, Camara, Valbuena, Masouras; El-Arabi

Red Star Belgrade possible starting lineup:
Borjan; Gobeljic, Milunovic, Degenek, Rodic; Canas, Petrovic, Garcia, Vukanovic; Marin, Nabouhane


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Olympiacos 1-1 Red Star Belgrade

In a hard-fought encounter between two equally matched teams, expect a cagey, scrappy affair with both sides having to work for their chances. A draw is therefore the most likely outcome.


body check tags ::

Who will win Wednesday's Champions League between Olympiacios and Red Star Belgrade?

Olympiacios
Draw
Red Star Belgrade
Olympiacios
0.0%
Draw
0.0%
Red Star Belgrade
0.0%
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