Olympiacos vs Tottenham Hotspur preview, team news, match details, prediction and more | UEFA Champions League 2019/2020
The Londoners made it all the way to the final last season, falling to a 2-0 defeat against Liverpool and would be seeking to build on that.
On the other hand, their Greek Opponents are serial Champions League participants owing to their near-total dominance of the Greek Super League but their best result till date was when they narrowly missed out on the semifinal in 1999.
However, there have also been a couple of round-of-16 participation in the last few years with the most recent coming in 2014 where they threw away a 2-0 first-leg advantage to get eliminated by Manchester United in David Moyes' first season at Old Trafford.
Date - Wednesday, 18, September 2019
Time - 7:55 pm EEST (Local time), 4:55 pm GMT (UK), 5:55 pm WAT (Nigeria), 10:25 pm IST (India)
Venue - Karaiskakis Stadium, Piraeus, Greece
Team news and injury concerns
Mauricio Pochetino would have to do without the services of Argentina defender Juan Foyth who has been sidelined with an ankle injury since the start of the campaign. Three new signings are also on the treatment table; Tanguy Ndombele and Ryan Sessegnon (both hamstring), as well as Giovanni Lo Celso (Hip), would play no part in the match.
For Olympiacos, head coach Pedro Martins has centre-back Ruben Semedo ruled out with a meniscal injury, although the 25-year-old is fast nearing a return to full fitness. The Greek champions would also have to do without the services of captain and midfielder Konstantinos Fortounis.
This would be just the third time in history that both sides would clash, and the first in almost 40 years, with their last fixture coming way back in the second round of the 1972/1973 season of the UEFA Cup.
Tottenham entered the fixture seeking to defend the title they won in the inaugural edition of Europe's second-tier competition the previous season, and they thumped Olympiacos by a convincing 4-1 aggregate scoreline, winning the first leg at home and losing 1-0 away in Greece.
Total meetings - 2
Tottenham wins - 1
Olympiakos wins - 1
Players to watch
Olympiacos - Mathieu Valbuena
If Olympiacos are to pull off a victory at home to Tottenham, then the performance of Mathieu Valbuena would be key to that.
The 34-year-old arrived Olympiacos during the off-season from Fenerbache, and has already settled down to life well in Piraeus, scoring two goals and creating one assist from just three league fixtures to help his side sit top of the Super League.
Valbuena's has first-hand experience of playing against the big guns on the continent, having represented some traditional sides in the past like Marseille and Lyon, and this experience would come to the fore against Tottenham.
Tottenham - Harry Kane
Harry Kane is no stranger to scoring goals for fun and over the last five years has cemented his reputation as one of the premier centre-forwards in the world, and has won a number of Golden Boots, including in consecutive Premier League seasons, as well as on the global stage in the World Cup.
Injury limited his participation in Tottenham's run to the final last season, and having put in a substandard performance in the final itself, the 26-year-old would be keen to make up for lost time.
Olympiacos are coming into this fixture off the back of an impressive eight-match winning sequence stretching back to their 4-0 win over Victoria Plzen in the qualification stage of the Champions League back in July.
Incredibly, the Thrylos have conceded just one goal in that sequence, while they have scored a massive 20 goals, and thumped Greek side Volos 5-0 at home over the weekend to consolidate their spot atop the standings in the league.
Tottenham also pulled off an impressive victory of their own, defeating Crystal Palace 4-0 at White Hart Lane to move up into third on the standings.
Though the prospect of visiting an intimidating Karaiskakis Stadium is a daunting task for any team, Tottenham have what it takes to silence over 30,000 Greek fans on their own turf. However, given the impressive form of Olympiacos this season, it is definitely going to be a very stern test for Mauricio Pochetino's men.
Match prediction - Olympiacos 1-1 Tottenham
Olympiacos to win - 4.30
Draw - 3.50
Tottenham to win - 1.90
Bookmaker - Bet9ja