Olympiakos vs Anderlecht by Isaiah
Olympiakos actually had a decent performance last Thursday evening in Belgium, but the team still suffered narrow 1:0 loss in the first leg. However, they are now surely with a boosted morale, knowing that they have every reason to feel as favorites and that the game might be easier this time with the help of their fans.
They even had some chances and probably deserve to score as well, but will need to recover now in front of their fans, as they anyway play much better in Europe at their own home. As for domestic league, Olympiakos is already seen by many as the new, old champions, since the team currently stands at first position with eighteen points more than second placed AEK. During the last game, they celebrated 4:0 home victory over Atromitos, showing decent effectivity in front of crucial European game. Coach Marcelo Silva won't be able to count at central defender Dimitrios Siovas (18/0) and right winger Felipe Pardo (16/2) due injuries.
Even though the game was more or less even, Anderlecht still managed to get a narrow 1:0 victory in the first leg and will now try to defend mostly in order to progress to the next stage. Greek side had more of the ball possession, but the hosts proved to be more effective side with the only goal being scored via Mbodji in 67th minute.
After difficult European game, the team suffered narrow 1:0 defeat away from home against Waasland-Beveren last Sunday evening. It was their first defeat after five matches and even more surprising is the fact they they had to leave the field with heads down, despite the fact that they played with a man more for fifty minutes of the game. And they were superior, however failed to convert any of their chances into goals, finally conceding one in 86th minute via Vanzo, without time to respond further. After this defeat, they are now at third position, having seven points less than leaders from Club Brugge. Guests continue to miss injured left full back Ivan Obradovic (13/0), central midfielder Steven Defour (24/1) and talented forward Aaron Leya Iseka (3/0) who anyway performed little till now this season.
After watching the first game, I have no doubts that the hosts are favorites to win here. Easy or hard I expect Olympiakos to progress here and to secure the ticket for the next stage well before the final minutes.