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Olympiakos v Arsenal: Injury News, Possible Lineups, Preview And Prediction

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UCL Draw

Arsenal

Cup finals in group stages are although not possible even in one’s most awkward dreams, but when it comes to qualifying for the next round from it, they assume the form of one. And when Arsenal travel to Greece on Wednesday night, it will all come down to the performance of the Gunners on that given day, if they desire to progress into the knockout stages of the Champions League.

The Karaiskakis Stadium, which is known to be one of the most noisy and hostile stadiums in Europe won’t at all be an easy hurdle overcome for the Gunners, who picked up all three points in the Premier League this past weekend after a convincing 3-1 win over Sunderland.

A win would guarantee qualification from a group they messed up badly during the offset, but showed signs of recovery after a shock win over Bayern Munich. Olympiakos, who lie 2nd in the table and need a win themselves to advance will give their all to oust Arsene Wenger’s men in red.

Team News

Arsenal’s biggest problem would be the in-availabilities of Santi Cazorla and Chilean star Alexis Sanchez, who have both played a key part in Arsenal’s solid season. Aaron Ramsey, who got on the scoresheet against Sunderland would be fit to feature but Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta, Francis Coquelin and Danny Welbeck will all miss the game at the Karaiskakis Stadium due to their own injury issues.

As far as Olympiakos are concerned, midfielder Andreas Bouchalakis is not fit enough to feature due to a hamstring injury that he sustained back in August and the 22-year-old has failed to feature since.

Giannis Maniatis is a doubt for the game due to a knee problem.

Predicted Line Ups

Olympiakos: Roberto; Omar Elabdellaoui, Botia, Siovas, Masuaku; Milivojevic, Kasami; Pardo, Fortounis, Seba; Brown Ideye

Arsenal: Cech; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Ramsey, Flamini, Campbell, Ozil, Oxlade Chamberlain; Olivier Giroud

Past Meetings

The most surprising fact that pops up surrounds the clashes between the sides in Greece. Arsenal have failed to beat Olympiakos at Karaiskakis Stadium during their three previous attempts. Losing 2-1 in 2012, 3-1 in 2011, 1-0 in 2009.

The last time they met though, Arsenal lost at home too, conceding a 3-2 defeat that left their qualification in tatters much like how it is right now.

Predictions

Arsenal are coming up against a tough to beat side, who know how to play football and beat bigger clubs at home. They had beaten Atletico Madrid last season and Manchester United the season before and Arsenal won’t present an opportunity different than that.

Arsenal’s injury crisis and the absence of both Alexis Sanchez and Santi Cazorla would be crucial and I reckon, they will find it tough to break Olympiakos down who would be happy with a draw to get through.

And I’d predict a 1-1 draw and Olympiakos to go through.