Olympiakos vs Wolves prediction: Olympiakos 1-2 Wolves
The big news is that UEFA has confirmed that this match will not be postponed despite the spread of coronavirus.
Olympiakos owner Evangelos Marinakis has confirmed he’s contracted the disease.
Yet, despite a request for Wolves to postpone the match, UEFA have rejected that request.
This match will be played behind closed doors.
Having knocked Arsenal out in the previous round, Olympiakos are preparing to face their third Premier League opponent of the season.
Wolves are the competition’s joint-leading scorers with 17 goals since the group stage.
Olympiakos vs Wolves: Who will win?
Despite playing away from home, Wolves are overwhelming favourites to win at 23/20. An Olympiakos win is priced at 12/5 while the draw can be backed at 12/5.
Wolves are 3/10 to qualify for the last eight while Olympiakos are 12/5.
There have been at least three goals scored in Wolves’ last four Europa League matches. Bet on over 2.5 goals at 11/8.
Diogo Jota is the competition’s joint-leading goalscorer with six. Remarkably, he’s played fewer minutes in the competition than anyone else in the top 15 goalscorers list. Jota is 13/2 to open the scoring and 5/2 to score anytime.
Olympiakos vs Wolves Europa League match preview
Olympiakos host Wolves at the Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus on Thursday night for the first leg of their Europa League round of 16 tie.
Olympiakos pulled off one of the shocks of the campaign as they knocked Arsenal out in the previous round, despite a 1-0 defeat in the first leg.
Pape Cisse’s headed goal gave Olympiakos a 1-0 lead after 90 minutes, sending the match to extra time. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s overhead kick looked to have sent Arsenal through before a last-minute winner from Youssef El-Arabi broke Gunners’ hearts. The tie ended 2-2 but Olympiakos progressed on the away goals rule.
Olympiakos remain top of the Greek Super League with a seven-point lead over PAOK in second. Last Wednesday they were knocked out of the Greek Cup with a 3-2 defeat at PAOK.
In the previous round, Wolves dispatched Espanyol 4-0 at Molineux in the first leg. Wolves lost 3-2 in the return leg in Spain but their first-leg victory was enough to secure a 6-3 aggregate win.
Wolves remain 6th in the Premier League after being held to a 0-0 draw at home to Brighton on Saturday.
This is Wolves’ maiden season in the Europa League and their first season in Europe since 1981. Wolves finished runners up in the first-ever edition of the UEFA Cup in 1972.
Olympiakos manager Pedro Martins was a former teammate of Nuno Espírito Santo during their playing days at Vitoria. They have met as managers on six occasions, each winning twice.
Thursday’s game will be the first UEFA meeting between the two clubs. The second leg will be held in Wolverhampton on 19 March.
Wolves statement to the Olympiakos game going ahead
Wolves have published the following statement on their club website:
Wolves can confirm that a formal request submitted to UEFA proposing the postponement of Thursday’s Europa League tie at Olympiacos has been rejected by the governing body.
The match will take place, behind closed doors, in line with the Greek government’s enforced temporary suspension of spectators attending sporting events, to limit the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) in Greece.
Our position is that the trip poses unnecessary risks to our players, staff, supporters and the families of all who travel, at such critical and uncertain times.
Our concern is also for our opponents, whose players and staff have today been tested, and will now be expected to play their part in an important fixture, under the difficult and challenging circumstances of their owner suffering with the virus.
There is also disappointment that the match will be played without home and away supporters, as that is part of what makes European competition so special, as well as the fact our fans have already contended with similar obstacles on our Europa League journey already this season.
We believe that there are some things that are more important than football, and that the good health of our pack and the general public is one of them. However, we respect the decision of UEFA and the integrity of the competition, and we will travel tomorrow to Greece to play the fixture.
We hope that our request to UEFA, and our acceptance of their decision, can act as the catalyst for them to consider alternative options moving forwards, as this will not be the last fixture to be affected by coronavirus.
Olympiakos team news vs Wolves
Ruben Semedo is available again after serving a one-match suspension in the second-leg against Arsenal.
Youssef El Arabi should keep his place up front, with Konstantinos Fortounis likely to start from the bench. El-Arabi has scored six goals in Europe this season, with five coming in the Champions League.
Lazar Randjelovic and Giorgos Masouras will compete for a spot on the right wing.
Hillal Soudani remains sidelined.
Wolves team news vs Olympiakos
Jonny is Wolves’ only injury concern, so Ruben Vinagre should continue at left wing-back for the visitors.
Raul Jimenez will lead the attack. He is Wolves’ leading assist-maker in the competition this season with 3.
Adama Traore started Saturday’s draw on the bench and could replace Leander Dendoncker in the starting eleven.
Daniel Podence signed from Olympiakos in January and is in contention to face his former club. The winger was on the scoresheet in Olympiakos’s Champions League Group Stage draw with Spurs.
Olympiakos predicted line-up vs Wolves
Wolves predicted line-up vs Olympiakos
All odds mentioned in this article are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.
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Greek Super League table
|8||AE Larissa FC||26||7||9||10||28||33||-5||30|
|12||AO Xanthi FC||26||8||6||12||21||32||-11||18|
Premier League table
|15||Brighton & Hove Albion||34||8||12||14||36||47||-11||36|
|16||West Ham United||34||8||7||19||40||59||-19||31|