21 February 2020
Olympiacos entertain Arsenal at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League (EL) last-32 tie.
Olympiacos’ road to the EL Round of 32 has seen them finish third in the UEFA Champions League Group B, behind Bayern Munich and Tottenham, and secure just one win in six group stage appearances (D1, L4). Three of their four European defeats this term have yielded a multiple-goal margin, with ten of the 15 European goals they’ve shipped so far coming in the second half (66.67%). Also, ‘Thrylos’ are on a run of seven consecutive home games without a win in the EL knockout stages (D4, L3), although they’ve avoided defeat in ten of their previous 11 European home fixtures. Yet, the Greek giants boast an almost perfect record in 2020, having won ten of 12 competitive matches since the turn of the year (D2), keeping a clean sheet on eight of those occasions.
In the meantime, the visitors have qualified for this competition’s knockout stages for the third year running, finishing top of Group F with a record of W3 D2 L1. What at first looked to be a routine task for the Gunners, who kicked off their European campaign with three straight victories, turned into a disappointing ending. Indeed, the Londoners have failed to pick up a win in three consecutive continental fixtures (D2, L1), conceding over 1.5 goals in the last two. Still, Mikel Arteta’s men have not tasted defeat in their previous five European trips (W3, D2), although both draws have come in the last two. But, last season’s EL runners-up have some bad memories traveling to Olympiacos. Indeed, they had suffered three straight defeats at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium before pulling off a 3-0 win in their last visit.
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