Crisis-hit Olympiacos Travel To Turin To Face Italian Giants (JUV-OLY Preview)
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE - GROUP D (MATCHDAY 2)
|Juventus||2:45 PM (EST)||Olympiacos|
Georgios Tsitsonis from AGONAsport.com brings you a full preview for Olympiacos' Champions League Matchday 2 matchup against Juventus.
Crisis-hit Olympiacos have their work cut out for them this week as they head to Turin to take on Italian giants Juventus on Matchday 2 of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions’ League.
The defending Greek champions’ disappointing start to the season continued on Sunday as they blew a 2-0 lead to lose a derby to AEK 3-2. A complete blackout in the last half hour led to the Piraeus club’s reversal of fortunes on the night. The defeat meant they fall five points behind AEK after just five Greek Super League matches. The loss saw the club sack Besnik Hasi as manager after a run of poor results. Takis Lemonis has been announced as the new head coach, the club acting swiftly to appoint a successor.
Lemonis and Olympiacos will be looking for anything positive to take from this trip to Italy. After a 3-2 defeat at home to Sporting Lisbon on Matchday 1, Olympiacos supporters know full well that even 3rd place and a Europa League spot is an extremely tough ask after the opening day loss to Sporting.
In Juventus, Olympiacos will be taking on one of European football’s top clubs. Though Max Allegri’s team went down 3-0 to Barcelona on Matchday 1, the Bianconeri are flying high in Serie A. Juventus have started the season off with six straight victories as they currently sit joint top of the table with Inter Milan.
On Saturday, Juve won their local derby 4-0 against 10-men Torino. They head into this match brimming with confidence. They also know they absolutely have to win this match so they can stay near the top of the group.
Juventus head into this match in great form and only a few injury issues. Claudio Marchisio is inching closer to a return as he tried to recover from a knee injury. Mattia De Sciglio is still out as is summer signing Benedikt Howedes. Juan Cuadrado will also miss out due to suspension. Allegri could possibly rotate the team so thus some new faces from the side that beat Torino at the weekend could feature.
It’s a real toss-up as to what sort of starting eleven the team will have. With Hasi out there are lots of questions to be answered. After a disappointing performance against AEK, we do know that goalkeeper Stefanos Kapino was dropped to the club’s U-20 side. That means that 34-year-old Belgian goalkeeper Silvio Proto could get the nod in between the sticks.
Juventus: Buffon, Lichtsteiner, Chiellini, Benatia, Sandro, Matuidi, Pjanic, Bernardeschi, Costa, Mandzukic, Dybala
Olympiacos: Proto, Figueiras, Engels, Romao, Elabdellaoui, Tachtsidis, Ofoe, Seba, Fortounis, Pardo, Djurdjevic
9/23/17 Juventus-Torino 4-0 (Serie A)
9/20/17 Juventus-Fiorentina 1-0 (Serie A)
9/17/17 Sassuolo-Juventus 1-3 (Serie A)
9/12/17 Barcelona-Juventus 3-0 (UEFA Champions’ League Group Stage)
9/9/17 Juventus-Chievo 3-0 (Serie A)
9/24/17 AEK-Olympiacos 3-2 (Greek Super League)
9/19/17 Olympiacos-Asteras Tripolis 2-1 (Greek Cup)
9/16/17 Olympiacos-Asteras Tripolis 1-1 (Greek Super League)
9/12/17 Olympiacos-Sporting Lisbon 2-3 (UEFA Champions’ League Group Stage)
9/9/17 Xanthi-Olympiacos 1-1 (Greek Super League)
Wednesday’s match will be the 11th time the two teams have played each other in European competition. Juventus hold the series lead with six wins, two draws, and two losses. The last time the two clubs met was in the 2014/15 Champions’ League. The two sides split that pair of Group Stage matches with Olympiacos winning 1-0 in Greece and narrowly losing 3-2 in Turin. Juventus are the side that gave Olympiacos their worst-ever defeat in Europe, a 7-0 thrashing back in the the 2003/04 competition.
Considering the two sides’ form and stature within Europe at the moment, this match has Juventus win all over it. Juventus will be chasing the three points as well after a Matchday 1 defeat at Barcelona.
Olympiacos could certainly put up a fight, however this game would have been difficult had the team been in good form let alone the poor condition they are in at the moment. An expected loss would be okay with supporters, perhaps the main goal of this match will be on seeing something to build on going forward.
Football can produce a shock or two of course, but in their current state, Olympiacos would do well to grab anything from this match.