Olympiacos v Arsenal: the team, the rows, the droppings and other stuff.

by Bulldog Drummond

Mesut Ozil and Lucas Torreira were both missing from the travelling party on Wednesday; Ozil’s wife is due to give birth while the Uruguayan has been struggling with illness.

Again set to start at left-back however is teenage starlet Bukayo Saka.

Arsenal chiefs are hoping to tie him down to a new five-year deal soon.

The England youth international, just 18, has 18 months left on his deal, worth £3,000 a week, and his potential availability has alerted other top-flight clubs.

Alexandre Lacazette, who broke his goalscoring duck against the Magpies, is set to lead the attack.

Arsenal predicted XI from the Daily Mirror


Bellerin, Mustafi, Luiz, Saka;

Xhaka, Willock, Ceballos;

Pepe, Lacazette, Martinelli

The Independent on the other hand gives us


Bellerín, David Luiz, Sokratis, Saka;

Xhaka, Torreira;

Aubameyang, Ceballos, Martinelli;


They add that Alexandre Lacazette will now have his confidence back having scored at the weekend, and they perceive a new unity in the squad.  But “the Greek side have a strong home record after beating Red Star, giving Spurs a scare in a 2-2 draw and pushing Bayern in a 3-2 loss. We’ll opt for a 2-2 draw in Athens.”

Interestingly, Saka has been involved in six Europa League goals this season (two goals, four assists), which is more than any other Arsenal player.

Even more surprising is the fact that only three players in the competition have been involved in more goals than Saka this season.

The BBC have focussed on Matteo Guendouzi who didn’t play in the 4-0 win over Newcastle.  Their take is that Guendouzi and Arteta had a row in Dubai, but could come back to the squad because of Torreira’s illness.  Although Arsenal have said there has been a “significant improvement” in Torreira’s condition and he might still make it.

The BBC also say that Arteta says he will see if his younger players can handle the intimidating atmosphere of the sold-out Karaiskakis Stadium commenting, “You don’t know until you expose them. They can have the best intention but they need to go to a stadium like here and when they make a mistake or a bad decision, have the courage to try again and play again.

“And I want to see that in my players, whether they are 17 or 35. That’s what I expect from them. If they keep trying, they have my full support.   If they hide after that, I don’t like it. But what I’ve seen up to now, every time they play on that field they are responding really, really well. That’s what I am hoping and I am sure they will do it tomorrow.”

Here are the past matches between us and them…

Date Match Result Score Competition
29 Sep 2009 Arsenal v Olympiakos W 2-0 UEFA Champions League
09 Dec 2009 Olympiakos v Arsenal L 1-0 UEFA Champions League
28 Sep 2011 Arsenal v Olympiakos W 2-1 UEFA Champions League
06 Dec 2011 Olympiakos v Arsenal L 3-1 UEFA Champions League
03 Oct 2012 Arsenal v Olympiakos W 3-1 UEFA Champions League
04 Dec 2012 Olympiakos v Arsenal L 2-1 UEFA Champions League
29 Sep 2015 Arsenal v Olympiakos L 2-3 UEFA Champions League
09 Dec 2015 Olympiakos v Arsenal W 0-3 UEFA Champions League

But Olympiakos have only won one of their last 11 knockout stage games, drawing four and losing six.  Against this Arsenal have gone through from 11 of the last 12 two-legged ties in the UEFA Cup/Europa League.  The only failure was in the 2017/18 semi-final.


19 Replies to “Olympiacos v Arsenal: the team, the rows, the droppings and other stuff.”

  1. “…[the players] need to go to a stadium like here and when they make a mistake or a bad decision, have the courage to try again and play again. And I want to see that in my players, whether they are 17 or 35. That’s what I expect from them. If they keep trying, they have my full support. If they hide after that, I don’t like it.”

    This statement warms my cockles no end. Too often in the past we have become insipid and listless if things don’t go our way and that makes us worse as we’ve never been a team built for playing cautious conservative football like what Emery makes us do. So glad to see a manager who has the cojones to let his players make mistakes but not giving up playing aggressively.

    And there’s a lesson for the fans as well – don’t get impatient and start booing players if they make mistake. Get behind them and see them improve! Like how Mustafi played a blinder after his mistake against Chelsea and he has gotten better every game since!

  2. Sammy, you are lucky that some spelling corrector didn’t change cockles to cockerels. We would think you were a spud fan.

  3. Arsenal XI:
    Mustafi Luiz Sokratis Saka
    Guendouzi Xhaka
    Martinelli Aubameyang Willock

    Beach: Martinez, Ceballos, Maitland-Niles, Holding, Pepe, Nketiah, Kolasinac

    I feel a bit bummed that Martinez didn’t stay in goal.


  4. Half time statistics Olympiakos 0 0 Arsenal

    Attempts 5:4
    _on target 1:1
    _off target 3:1
    Offsides 1:1

    Possession 48:52
    _Accuracy 86:87
    _Passes 257:241
    _Completed 222:210

    Balls recovered 14:17

    Yellow 2:0
    Fouls 6:7


  5. I seen Mustafi got a yellow quite a while ago, but what is Xhaka booked for on the restart?


  6. Not a fantastic performance but they did the job. Nice moment by our forwards to nick the win! 🙂

  7. Final stats

    Attempts 5:4 17:12
    _on target 1:1 2:3
    _off target 3:1 7:6
    Offsides 1:1 2:2

    Possession 48:52 49:51
    _Accuracy 86:87 84:86
    _Passes 257:241 491:442
    _Completed 222:210 413:381

    Balls recovered 14:17 32:33

    Yellow 2:0 4:2
    Fouls 6:7 11:13

  8. Xhaka got booked for dissent. The ref gave a foul that wasn’t but Xhaka should know better.

  9. What a player that Saka is going to be. Can he be our Giggs? I sure hope he will be as loyal as Giggs was. Well to his club……

  10. Olympiakos got away with several stamps on Arsenal feet but then it’s just the way the game goes with unobservant officials. There were at least seven fouls on Guendouzi that should have been yellow cards but ………..

  11. That is a proper performance.

    Apart from that first 15 minutes we were in control. They had 2 shots on target in the match and both of those were in that 15 minutes.

    Make no mistake, this is a tough place to go to and keep a clean sheet, and not only that get a victory.

    Well done lads.

  12. Apparently we are the only premier league team not to lose a game in 2020. Who would of believed that.

    Still a way to go but signs are good.

  13. To me, there are entirely too many medja stories about some (presumably small) set of Arsenal “fans” who are unhappy with this, that or the other thing out of this game.

    What’s the point? Is any of this reporting of unhappyness reflecting the opinions of most Arsenal supporters? Worldwide?

    I doubt it.

    Quit publishing crap.

  14. Ah Gord……….if they don’t publish crap, what are they going to publish; the truth, comments about the poor officiating, the PIGMOB, the corrupt FA,FIFA and EUFA? Nope…..shit sells to the shit-for-brains crowd that believe anything they see in print or on the screen!

  15. I can just imagine what you think of Donald’s pardons?

    Did Donald study what FIFA and UEFA have been doing?

  16. WOO HOO , HOO ! Well done guys . And another clean sheet for Leno. So glad to see us playing with passion again.
    Up the Gunners !

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