Olympiacos v Tottenham Betting Preview, Odds & Tips | 18/09/19
James Cormack (@jamescormack_) previews Olympiacos v Tottenham Hotspur and provides us with his best bets for Wednesday’s Group B clash on matchday one of this year’s edition of the Champions League by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.
- 2019 Profit & Loss: +16.9pts
Olympiacos v Tottenham Hotspur Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 18/09/19
- Time: 17:55
- Venue: Karaiskakis Stadium
- Channel: BT Sport 2
Spurs will be looking to start their 2019/20 Champions League campaign off with a bang as they travel to Greece to take on Olympiacos, who finished second in the Greek Super League last season.
The North London club’s journey last time out was nothing short of spectacular. After gaining just one point after three group games, they miraculously escaped via a flurry of late goals and PSV drawing at Inter on the final matchday.
Heart-stopping victories (over two legs) against Manchester City and Ajax eventually saw Mauricio Pochettino’s miracle-makers to Madrid and their first-ever Champions League final. But, a sub-par performance saw them fall short to fellow English club Liverpool, who won 2-0.
Signings of generational #8 Tanguy Ndombele and the exciting Giovanni Lo Celso (out injured for a month or so) will give Spurs fans hope that they could go one better this time out.
After an inconsistent start to the season, Saturday’s thrashing of the usually stout Crystal Palace should be a major morale-booster for Spurs, who have struggled against sides who have deployed a low-block against them this season.
It was a simply vintage performance that would’ve reminded the Spurs faithful of the 2016/17 season when their side went unbeaten in White Hart Lane’s last season. The quick, dynamic, direct football was back and it was great to see.
The return of Serge Aurier was also timely, as the Ivorian arguably put in his best performance in a Spurs shirt, creating two of the four goals. His return is a massive boost for a side that have had somewhat of a right-back crisis this season, with Kyle Walker-Peters being the only recognised right-back available for the start of the campaign.
Despite Olympiacos not holding any household names, other than maybe Mathieu Valbuena, this will undoubtedly be a tricky test in a very hostile atmosphere.
The Greek side sit top of the SuperLeague after three games and are coming off the back of a 5-0 slumping of Volos on Saturday.
Olympiacos will have to do without their influential playmaker Konstantinos Fortounis here. The 26-year-old suffered an ACL injury back in July keeping him out of action until the new year.
The hosts will also be missing defender Ruben Semedo, who remains on the sidelines with a knee injury.
For the away side, Pochettino has said that he will rotate for Wednesday’s game. However, we won’t be seeing Giovanni Lo Celso as he’s out with a groin injury.
Tanguy Ndombele is expected to start as he returned on Saturday following a minor thigh issue, whilst we could see Dele Alli and Eric Dier return to Pochettino’s starting XI on Wednesday.
Ryan Sessegnon is also in contention, along with Kyle Walker-Peters, but I’d expect Serge Aurier to retain his place after his excellent showing on the weekend.
Potential Olympiacos Starting XI: Sa; Elabdellaoui, Cisse, Meriah, Tsimikas; Guilherme, Bouchalakis; Podence, Valbuena, Masouras; El-Arabi.
Potential Spurs Starting XI: Lloris; Aurier, Dier, Vertonghen, Davies; Ndombele, Winks; Alli, Eriksen; Kane, Lucas.
Head To Head
- These sides have met just twice, both being in the 1972 UEFA Cup. Spurs won at home 4-0 whilst the Greek side won 1-0 on home soil.
Key Stats & Facts
- The home side are yet to concede a goal in the league this season.
- They had to get through Viktoria Plzen, Istanbul Basaksehir and FC Krasnodar to get to this stage.
- In their last three Champions League campaigns, they’ve failed to get out of the group, last qualifying for the last 16 in the 2013-14 season.
- Harry Kane has 14 Champions League goals in his career.
- Spurs started last season’s campaign with a 2-1 loss away at Inter and only won twice away from home throughout the whole campaign (v Dortmund and Ajax).
- The 2016/17 campaign was the only time where Spurs failed to progress to the knockout stages of this competition, they were successful in their other three attempts.
- Olympiacos 18/5
- Draw 13/5
- Spurs 10/11
Despite the hostility, I expect Spurs to get the win here based off what I saw on Saturday. Even if Poch makes a number of changes, the game on Saturday showed a determined Spurs side looking to silence the critics over their indifferent start to the season. There’s no doubt this will be a tricky encounter and if the North London side does get the win, it will be a close, hard-fought win. Therefore, to add more value, I’m going to back Spurs to win with under 3.5 goals. In the end, the quality within this (now) confident-looking Spurs squad should be enough to overcome an Olympiacos side that have started their season brightly.
The other bet I like for this one is for Dele Alli to get on the scoresheet. It’s clear to see that injuries have prevented Dele from playing at an optimal level for the past 12 months. Hopefully, the 23-year-old has an injury-free campaign and we can see him return to his best, and his best involves him scoring a few goals. On Saturday, we saw Poch utilise a 4-2-2-2 to great effect and I expect him to use it again for this one. With Dele featuring little so far this season, he’s almost guaranteed a start here and he should enjoy playing in this system, occupying one of the more advanced midfielder slots which will give him the licence to drift off the shoulders off the front two and into positions where he can be so deadly.