On the face of it tonight should be a stroll. Olimpiakos have never won on English soil. Last season we beat them at the Emirates on a night when 18 y.o. Alex Oxlade Chamberlain became Arsenal’s youngest ever CL scorer, we lost away but due to our unassailable position sent over a team with very little chance.
Of course no Champions League game is easy, all the teams are good quality and Olimpiakos are no exception. they beat Borussia Dortmund at home and Marseilles away last season. Based in Piraeus ,Olimpiakos are Greece’s biggest club with 83,000 members though how they fit into their 32k capacity ground I do not understand. Perhaps TMHT can explain. They have been Greek Champions for 11 out of the last 12 seasons.
The loss of Kevin Mirallis to Everton was a blow, he was top scorer in Greece last year and the Greek Player of the Year.
As you can tell I am corpsing on this one – I wrote about Olimpiakos last season and do not want to repeat myself, so onto the men in red and white (though the Greeks also play in the same colours)
Arsenal need a win to eradicate the negativity of the recent loss to the Southern Oilers. Mr Wenger said in is CL press conference that one away win and three home wins is the target of his team. We have the away win, now the home run starts.
Injury rules out Diaby and there are doubts about Arteta who has ankle problems – he faces a fitness test this morning. I wouldn’t take any risks with such a valuable player, we have adequate cover in what should be a straight forward game. With the prospect of playing a Fat Sam team on the weekend, I would also rest BFG, he will have a tough afternoon on Saturday. Gervinho despite scoring a golazo on Sunday could use a rest.
Once again, we have a strong bench with Arshavin possibly being the super-sub. I am not sure about whether Ox or Theo should start but Theo did very well last Tuesday and has a decent scoring record in Europe.
Take three points tonight and we are half way towards another qualification. Should Schalke beat Montpelier at home, then a gap of 6 points opens up between ourselves and the two bottom clubs – a very positive situation. I am not taking a win for granted, one needs only to look at the comedy up at Old Trafford and the Etihad last season but in terms of Champions League, this is not a difficult tie.
Written by Big Raddy