Olympiacos v Arsenal betting preview – It’s Do or Die time for Gunners
Arsene Wenger's Gunners make the journey to Olympiacos on Wednesday night following what has been a poor Champions League campaign
December 8th, 2015
When the draw was made, Arsenal were widely expected to be following Bundesliga side Bayern Munich into the last sixteen, however they have been utterly disappointing in Group F and following defeats to Olympiacos and Dinamo Zagreb, they have been very much on the back foot.
Indeed, the Gunners could be exiting the competition on Wednesday, the first time since 1999/2000 that they been knocked out in the group stages and they only remain in slight contention following wins over Bayern Munich and Dinamo Zagreb.
Arsenal therefore have no doubt whatsoever as to what they now need to do and a winning margin of two goals would be sufficient for them to progress into the last sixteen. They can also go through with a one-goal winning margin should they score no less than three goals in Wednesday evening’s game. Is this such a tall order, given that they achieved this against Sunderland in the Premier League? Arlene Wenger believes not, saying:
“We had to do our job and Bayern had to do theirs and we both did our jobs well. We now have a chance – how big a chance I don’t know but I believe we can do it. We know the task and for us this task has one big advantage – it is very clear what we have to do. It is vital we score the first goal. It will be tough but I have to believe we can do it.”
Wenger may be optimistic about his side’s chances of reaching the last sixteen but we’re not. They defeated the Black Cats 3-1 at the weekend, however they failed to inspire with a performance which was indifferent at best. Indeed, Sunderland could have managed a share of the spoils were it not for the heroic efforts of Petr Cech and some poor finishing.
The Black Cats managed to find a way through the Gunners’ defence more than once and that may be a cause for concern this week, especially since Arsenal need to be on the offensive from the very start, leaving gaps at the back which the hosts could easily exploit.
The Gunners will also need to compensate for the lack of Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta and Alexis Sanchez, although Theo Walcott should make a start, as could Joel Campbell, the latter scoring in the 3-1 victory against the Black Cats at the weekend.
Given Olympiacos’ decent record at home, Arsenal will have their work very much cut-out on Wednesday evening should they wish to manage the unexpected and go through to the last sixteen of the Champions League.
We don’t anticipate either side running away with this game and with the visitors going out all guns blazing, a high scoring draw would be the most obvious outcome. Back a draw with over 3.5 goals at 9/1 with Boylesports.
As far as goalscorers are concerned, Olivier Giroud has bagged two goals in four Champions League outings this season and is the Gunners’ main goal-threat in what looks set to be an end-to-end encounter. Giroud to score anytime is 13/10 with Winner.com.