Arsenal v Olympiakos: The view from Greece
Greece’s top two sides face English opposition this week in what could prove to be a pivotal few days for Hellenic football.
Ahead of Tottenham’s visit to Panathinaikos, Greek champions Olympiakos will have an enormous challenge on their hands against Arsenal in the group stage of the Champions League.
We get the view from Greece on the fixture…
Arsenal v Olympiakos (Wednesday, 19:45 – Champions League Group B)
These teams rekindle their group stage romance for the third time in four years, although significant changes to the Olympiakos squad have already seen their campaign take a turn for the worse after losing against Schalke last week.
Ex-Braga manager Leonardo Jardim is doing very well domestically, where Olympiakos currently hold an eleven-point lead over their arch-rivals Panathinaikos. And even after losing key players in the summer, five wins out of five for Olympiakos certainly sums up the declining quality of the Greek Super League.
Olympiakos are evidently weaker than they were at this stage last season.
Key summer departures include their captain and defensive bedrock Olof Mellberg, while Belgium forward Kevin Mirallas has still yet to be replaced following his move to Everton in August.
Avraam Papadopoulous’ long-term injury means that the Piraeus-based team are short in defence, while Tasos Papazoglou is another defender added to the casualty list after injuring himself during the 1-0 win over Atromitos on Sunday.
Failure to replace key players is likely to cost Olympiakos this season and with Arsenal looking to bounce back from Saturday’s defeat against Chelsea, the Greek giants will do well to avoid defeat in north London this Wednesday.
Key Player: Kostas Mitroglou – Injury to leading goalscorer Rafik Djebbour means that Mitroglou will need to step up in his place. The 24-year-old frontman scored 16 goals in Greece last season.Tagged in: Arsenal, Champions League, football, Tottenham
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