Olympiakos vs Barcelona by Isaiah
Olympiakos suffered defeat in the biggest Greek derby last Saturday evening as they visited Panathinaikos and stood defeated with narrow 1:0 result. A bit unexpected result for them since they surely expected to walk away with a point at least in the worst scenario this time, but the side simply continues to show that they are now far away from a superior side in the domestic league.
Generally, it was pretty much equal game from the opponents, but the hosts used their chances better with only goal being scored in 56th minute via Villafanez. With this defeat, Olympiakos is now only at fourth position with completely unimpressive 4-2-3 record and having five points less than leaders from Atromitos. As for the Champions League, they are fourth without a point earned and things are pretty much clear there with the club slowly turning their attention to domestic league only, even though the players surely want to impress against the Spanish giants for sure.
Defender Hrvoje Milic (2/0) is long term absentee already, similar to midfielder Ben Nabouhane (2/0). Forward Seba is expected to miss due to injury as well.
Barcelona, on the other side, continues their domination in LaLiga, getting a 2:0 victory away from home against Athletic Bilbao on Saturday night. Players of Bilbao didn't look that bad - on contrary, they were also dangerous from counter attacks, but the players of Barcelona were the ones who were more concrete and their victory was never in doubt.
Messi opened the scoreline in 36th minute completely deservedly, while the visitors netted the second one during the additional time in second via Paulinho, when the hosts tried and risked more in attack. Barcelona is now at the top of the table with four points more than second placed Valencia and more importantly, with eight points more than Real Madrid and Atletico which already makes them red hot favorite for another title.
Guests continue to miss midfielder Rafinha who didn't perform so far in the season, but also forward Ousmane Demebele (2/0) and midfielder Andres Iniesta (8/1) who is sidelined with a thigh injury. Central defender Gerard Pique (7/1) is now suspended for this one, while Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal remain doubtful with ankle problems. Lionel Messi picked up a knock in the previous game, but should be starting here.
- Olympiacos have conceded at least 2 goals in their last 3 matches (Champions League).
As said, chances of Olympiacos to reach even Europa League after six rounds are very slim, but what worries their fans is completely unimpressive performances in the domestic league. Having that in mind, there's no way that Olympiacos is in any kind of a good form and I'll be taking similar bet as in the first leg of these two teams. Greeks were "saved" with early red card of Pique, but even so Barcelona dominated the game completely - something that we should see once again.