A hot sunny Athens morning, greek yoghurt, fresh fruit, and some Greek honey. Lovely.
Olympiacos (we use a K, they use the C) come to town as Greek Champions , further than that I have little to tell you about them. They have over 80,000 members, the 9th highest in European football. They have a superb stadium, noisy, fanatical fans and a good home record. It is said they do not travel well, oh, and their Swedish player Olaf Mellberg scored the first PL goal at the Emirates (for AV)
The first round win by Marseilles in Athens was a poor result for 4 reasons:
1. Marseilles are French.
2. Olympiacos are a tough proposition in Athens and thus Marseilles are well placed in the group,
3. Marseilles are French
4. Marseilles are French
With little insight into the Greek team I will concentrate upon the Mighty Arsenal. Needless to say we go into the game reduced by injuries. To add to the long term absentees we now have Gervinho, Walcott, Bennie, Miquel, Djourou and more importantly Koscielny injured.
Wenger appears to be forced into playing Song alongside the BFG (Mertesacker) but by doing so we lose our best midfielder.
I would like to see Santos get another game tonight, he must be raring to get his AFC career started and despite having played well recently Gibbs, as we all know, is made of glass.
Up front we have options for the first time in ages. Should we play 4-3-3 expect to see the Ox to get his first start and how exciting will that be? Arshavin or Ryo on the left? AA for me, we need to be on the front foot for this game.
I have concerns about the number of games being played by Ramsey especially in light of the upcoming trip to WHL. Perhaps AW will give him a rest and play Coquelin and Frimpong in midfield, as it is I expect Frimpong to start. This is a game made for our friend Abou Diaby, he is sorely missed (IMO).
The same could be said of Van Persie but he has become so important to the team that he must start, hopefully we will be a coasting on the hour and Chamakh can continue to get some pitch time.
Athens has been continuously inhabited for more than 7000 years (London has a measly 2000 year history). Athenians and ancient Greeks have gifted the world many wonders, among them – democracy, astrology, biology, mathematics, physics and the theatre, but for all their marvels they didn’t invent football, did they?
This is a tie we are expected to win and is probably our easiest fixture in the CL, anything less than 3 points will be costly,
Champions League campaigns may come and go but Arsenal are Forever and Ever :-)