Apollon Limassol vs Olympiacos
Olympiacos to win- 23/20!
Having failed to secure a Champions League return, Olympiacos are under massive pressure not to lose this play-off.
Given that they’ve won 22 of the last 26 Greek Super League titles, including each of the last three, Olympiacos are Champions League regulars.
In total, they’ve featured in that competition’s group stages 20 times, but failed to do so last season.
This season, they fell at the first hurdle, ousted by Maccabi Haifa, drawing 1-1 in Israel before being hammered 4-0 at home.
The last time a visiting team scored 4+ goals in Piraeus was Paris Saint-Germain nine years ago.
As a result, Pedro Martins was immediately sacked but, under his replacement Carlos Corberán, they were nearly beaten again, this time in the Europa League.
They took on ŠK Slovan Bratislava and, after both legs had ended all square, a penalty shootout was required in Slovakia.
Pierre Kunde actually missed Olympiacos’ first spot-kick, but they subsequently scored all four, meaning when Mathieu Valbuena converted, they’d done enough to scrape through.
So, Olympiacos are guaranteed group stage football for a 12th successive season, but they’re desperate not to be in making their Europa Conference League debut.
Apollon Limassol should be massive underdogs but, given that Olympiacos are winless in four attempts in Europe this season, they’ll fancy their chances.
They were crowned Cypriot champions for the fourth time last season, with their other titles coming in 1991, 1994 and 2006, meaning it was a big deal.
In Europe, Apollon Limassol have made it to four Europa League group stages, all in the last decade, most recently doing so in 2018.
However, just like their visitors, they were dumped out of Champions League qualifying by the aformentioned Maccabi Haifa.
The Cypriot champions were hammered 4-0 in Israel and, despite racing into a 2-0 lead in last week’s second leg in Nicosia, couldn’t continue to mount a serious comeback.
So, it’s very difficult to know what’s going to happen when these two go head-to-head as GSP Stadium.