Olympiacos’ Possible Opponents in the Europa League Last 16
Olympiacos will play in the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 for the first time since the 2011/2012 season after thumping Osmanlispor 0-3 in yesterday’s second leg encounter. Check out who are the 15 teams Olympiacos could be drawn with in the Last 16 of the competition.
The UEFA Europa League Round of 16 draw will take place today at 7:00 AM (EST) at UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. All 16 teams will be placed in ONE pot with ALL 16 teams allowed to be drawn with the other. Thus, Olympiacos’ 15 possible opponents will include:
Would Like to Avoid
Manchester United seem to be the toughest opponent in the Last 16 as they have set it a season goal to win the Europa League.
LYON from France are on FIRE and showed it in their second leg match where they thrashed AZ Alkmaar 7-1. They are definitely a team that Olympiacos would like to avoid.
Roma will be a team Olympiacos would like to avoid as they are on fire. They knocked out Villarreal in the Last 32 with a 0-3 away win in Spain during the first leg.
Definitely Not the First Choice
Borussia Monchengladbach pulled off a comeback away to Fiorentina to celebrate their place in the Last 16. Being that they come from the German Bundesliga, Olympiacos would like to avoid this opponent.
Celta came back in the second leg to knock out Shakhtar Donetsk in extra time and secure their place in the Last 16 of the competition. The Spanish side played Panathinaikos in the group stages of this year’s Europa League and proved to be a tough opponent.
Besiktas house a great roster and currently lead the way in Turkey. They are definitely not one of Olympiacos’ first choices, but would prefer the Turkish club before Manchester United, Roma, and LYON.
Schalke showed their class over two legs against PAOK, however with some change in tactics Olympiacos could well match up with the German side.
Ajax just passed the barrier of Legia Warsaw and is also a team that Olympiacos could evenly match up with. The Dutch club is currently fighting for the Eredivisie Title in Holland and has played both PAOK and Panathinaikos in this season’s UEFA competitions without putting together convincing performances.
Rostov and Krasnodar from Russia do not have any upcoming games in domestic play but have proven to be very difficult opponents. The two sides knocked out Sparta Prague and Fenerbahce in the Last 32.
Copenhagen is the best team from Denmark and could well defeat Olympiacos over two legs. However, the Danish club (defeated Ludogorets in the Last 32) would not be an awful option for the Greek side in the Last 16 of the competition.
As a “name” Gent does not send fear to their opponents however they have proven over the last two years they are a strong side in Europe. Despite fighting for a sixth placed spot in Belgium, the club knocked out Tottenham in the Last 32 of the competition.
APOEL surprised Athletic Bilbao by defeating the Spanish side 2-0 in Cyprus to advance to the last 16. Olympiacos and APOEL met in the group stages, where APOEL defeated the Greek Champions in both matches to claim top spot in the group. However, APOEL remain a team that Olympiacos can evely match up with.
Anderlecht will be a welcoming opponent, despite knocking out Zenit in the Last 32. The Belgian club knocked out Olympiacos in last year’s Europa League competition, but the Erythrolefki do house a better roster.
Genk is another favorable opponent for Olympiacos as they surpassed Astra in the Round of 32. They are currently fighting for a sixth placed spot in Belgium. Their star striker, Nikos Karelis, is out for the season due to an injury but the club maintains a strong attack while their defense is below par.