From 2nd to 4th, Olympiacos’ scenarios in Group D
Olympiacos grabbed an important point on Tuesday after playing to a goalless draw with Barcelona at the Karaiskaki stadium. The result keeps Olympiacos alive for 3rd and even 2nd place in their Champions League group.
Olympiacos earned their first point of this year’s Champions League group stage campaign with an impressive goalless draw against Spanish giants, Barcelona, on Tuesday. The result, along with Sporting Lisbon’s draw with Juventus in Portugal, leaves Olympiacos last in the group with one point while Sporting sit in third with 4 points. Barcelona lead Group D with 10 points as Juventus trail in second place with 7 points after four matches.
Tuesday’s results keep Olympiacos in the game for third spot in the group which leads to a place in the UEFA Europa League knockout stages in February. However, Olympiacos will have an extremely tough task in their final two matches away to Sporting Lisbon and at home to Juventus to salvage their European season.
Olympiacos’ mission in Lisbon is simple, only a win will do for the Piraeus giants. Any other result against Sporting Lisbon will mathematically ensure Olympiacos a last placed finish in the group and their final match against Juventus will have no impact on their final placement.
If Olympiacos defeat Sporting Lisbon, they will be tied with the Portuguese club on four points and the first tie breaker will be head-to-head results. Sporting will hold a slight advantage over Olympiacos thanks to their 2-3 win at the Karaiskakis, unless Olympiacos defeat Sporting by two goals or more (or by one goal if the score is greater than 3-4). In that case, Olympiacos will be ahead of Sporting Lisbon in the standings going into the final matchday. However, even if Olympiacos scramble a one-goal victory against Sporting, the club from Lisbon must travel to Barcelona on matchday six while Olympiacos host Juventus.
The Superleague champions are also mathematically alive for second place in the group, which leads to a place in the UEFA Champions League knockout stages. For this to happen, Olympiacos must defeat Sporting Lisbon on matchday five and hope Barcelona defeat Juventus in Italy on the same day (a draw will not do). This will leave Olympiacos three points behind the Italian champions going into the final matchday where Olympiacos will host Juventus at the Karaiskakis stadium. This scenario will set up a do or die matchup for the Greek club and a victory better than 2-0 against Juventus will see Olympiacos to grab second place in the group.