-- Preview: Olympiacos - Astana --
UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE - GROUP STAGE (GROUP B)
|Olympiacos||3:05 PM (EST)||Astana|
Olympiacos hosts Astana in the third matchday of the Europa League group stage and AGONAsport.com brings you a preview of tomorrow’s match. Kickoff is set for 3:05 PM (EST). TV Listings for the United States, Canada, Australia, and Greece can be found here.
Olympiacos: Olympiacos has been in good form of late after coming away with two big victories in the Greek Superleague against AEK and away to Panionios. The Erythrolefki will hope to move these good results to the Europa League when they host Astana for matchday 3 in Group B. Olympiacos got off to a good start in the group stage when they defeated Young Boys in Switzerland for matchday 1, but fell to APOEL at the Karaiskaki Stadium in the second group match. Against Astana, Olympiacos will only be content with all 3 points which will give them the clear advantage to qualify for the next round while keeping them in contention for first place in Group B. Any other result will be a disappointment and will keep Astana in the hunt for second before Olympiacos makes a long trip to Kazakhstan in macthday 4. Bento has stated that he wants his side to get off to a start similar to that versus AEK, where Olympiacos was ahead by the 6th minute. An early goal will be key for Olympiacos to get a win in tonight’s match.
Starting Line-Up: There will be two changes to Olympiacos’ starting line-up from their weekend encounter against Panionios as both Fortounis and Leali are in Bento’s plans for the Starting XI. Bento has not laid out his plans for Olympiacos’ clash with Astana but it is likely that he will use a 4-2-3-1 formation with Leali (GK), Figueiras (RB), da Costa (CB), Botia (CB), Retsos (LB), Milivojevic (CDM), Martins (CDM), Elyounoussi (RMF), Fortounis (AMF), Seba (LMF), and Ideye (ST). Cambiasso could also make an appearance in the starting line-up in place for Martins while Viana (for Retsos) and Cardozo (for Ideye) could be chosen at gametime.
Astana: Astana was created 7 years ago and has already made great strides having won 2 league championships, two cups, and two supercups. Astana has little experience in UEFA’s competitions, but last season they played in the Champions League group stage for the first time in their history. Although they finished fourth in their group behind Benfica, Galatasaray, and Atletico Madrid, they went undefeated at home against all three opponents. This year, they were eliminated by Celtic in Champions League qualifying and qualified for the Europa League after defeating BATE over two legs. In Group B, they fell to APOEL in matchday 1 and drew Young Boys at home in matchday 2. Although they are outsiders to earn something from tonight’s match they will look to pull off a surprise similar to APOEL.
Referee: The referee will be Tobias Stieler from Germany. He has never refereed a game for a Greek team.
TV Listings: TV listings for the United States, Canada, and Greece can be found here. As of now, there will not be coverage in Australia.
CURRENT GROUP B STANDINGS