Partizan vs Olympiakos by DamirJ
Partizan did well to get kinda professional progress over Montenegrin champion Buducnost in the second qualifying round, as the team won the first game in Belgrade with a 2:0 result and stood with a goalless game in the returning leg last Tuesday evening. They only scored two goals in the second halftime of the first leg, when the team increased pressure and still earned deserved victory thanks to a goal from penalty kick taken by Djurdjevic in 53rd and a goal from Leonardo ten minutes later.
However, needs to be said that their visitors stood way too passive in the first leg, but attacked in second and were actually closer overall to get the victory in the second leg - with some really decent chances, but still the progress of Partizan is fair without any doubt. As for the domestic league, it started last weekend with Partizan trashing newly promoted Macva Sabac 6:1, thanks to four goals inside the first 35 minutes (Kosovic, Tawamba, Pantic and Djurjdevic) they opened up the opponent well, sealing the victory with another goal from Tawamba and Mihajlovic later in the match.
Performance of their best player, offensive midfielder Leonardo is questionable due quite poor relations with coaching staff and club's board, however he'll probably get some playing time.
Olympiakos was once again very dominant in Greece, taking the title few weeks before the season was over, ending it at first position with six points less than second placed PAOK. Still, must be said that the dominance wasn't that obvious as in previous years, while the tea failed to get the double crown this season as they lost the Cup's finale due to away goal rule in a 2:2 two legged game against AEK Athens.
They had six friendly matches this Summer, having different results as they won over Wattens 2:0 at the start of preparations, drawing to Ludogorets and losing against Panionios. Then they won over Mechelen in style with 6:0 result, however last two friendly matches ended as draws, against Lokeren and Asteras. They made decent number of changes this Summer and the impression is that the players will need some time to start playing well, as they also appointed new coach Besnik Hasi earlier in June.
Emenike from Fenerbahce, Odjidja-Ofoe from Legia, Vukovic from Konyaspor, Milic from Fiorentina and Tachtsidis are just some of the names that came this Summer.
Partizan did progress over Buducnost with a clean sheet, but their defensive lineup didn't convince me. Their advantage will be stadium and maybe a bit more of competitive form, however I still see Olympiakos being overall huge favorite to progress. Greek side should be able to threaten quite a few times this night, even if it's via counter attacks only (that way Partizan might be even more vulnerable).
I see plenty of value with Olympiakos over 1.25 goals here, even though the bet has decent risk as well. Greeks might need some more time, but the defensive lineup of Serbian side didn't convince me against Buducnost and I rate Olympiakos several classes above side from Montenegro.