Barcelona come up against Olympiacos at the Karaiskakis Stadium on Tuesday as they look to hold on to their lead at the top of Group D.
As things stand, Barcelona currently have a three-point lead over second placed Juventus at the top of Group D and they remain unbeaten in the first set of group fixtures. Olympiacos on the other hand, have lost every single game and conceded eight goals in the process.
Since the last time these sides faced each other, Barcelona have won three games on the trot in all competitions and now find themselves at the top of La Liga, with a four-point lead over second placed Valencia.
Olympiacos on the other hand, have won two of their three games, losing the other one. They now find themselves in fourth place on the Superleague table, five points way from table toppers Atromitos Athens.
Team News & Tactics
Brazilian winger Seba remains Takis Lemonis’ only injury concern going into this tie, as he continues to recover from a knee injury. So with a fully fit squad, we can expect to say the exact same starting XI that faced Barcelona in the reverse fixture, set up in a 4-5-1 formation.
Silvio Proto in goal, with Leonardo Koutris, Omar Elabdellaoui, Alberto Botia and Dimitrios Nikolaou making up the back-four. Androutsos and Carcela-Gonzalez will likely retain their places on the wings, while Guillaume Gillet, Sasa Zdjelar and Alaixys Romao will make up the rest of the midfield.
Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe is likely to lead the line once against against the Catalan giants. All in all, Lemonis could make five changes to the starting eleven which lost at Panathinaikos in the Greek Super League on saturday.
Probable Starting XI (4-5-1): Proto; Elabdellaoui, Botia, Nikolaou, Koutris; Androutsos, Romao, Zdjelar, Gillet, Carcela-Gonzalez; Odjidja-Ofoe
Andres Iniesta, Rafinha and Ousmane Dembele are out injured, while Gerard Pique will miss this tie as he is serving a suspension. There are doubts surrounding the fitness of Javier Mascherano as well, and it is unlikely that he will feature tonight.
Barcelona aren’t likely to see too many changes to the starting XI that started at the San Mames a few days ago. With Marc-Andre ter Stegen in goal, Nelson Semedo and Thomas Vermaelen will likely come back into the side and join Jordi Alba and Samuel Umtiti in defence.
Paulinho, Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic are likely to hold on their places in midfield. However Gerard Deulofeu could come back in at left wing and join Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi in the front three.
Probable Starting XI (4-3-3): ter Stegen; Semedo, Umtiti, Vermaelen, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Paulinho; Messi, Suarez, Deulofeu
- Olympiacos have conceded at least two goals in each of their last three Champions League matches.
- Olympiacos’ goal against Barcelona in the reverse fixture remains the only goal the Blaugrana have conceded in the Group Stage of this season’s competition.
- Barcelona have not lost any of their seven away matches across all comeptitions this season.
- Olympiacos have won only four home matches so far this season, across all competitions.
Olympiacos 0-3 Barcelona
The Catalan giants should cruise to another easy victory tonight at the Karaiskakis Stadium. Barcelona just have too much strength in depth to let the injuries of Andres Iniesta and Javier Mascherano, and the absence of Gerard Pique to affect their performance.
However, Olympiacos are coming off a narrow, frustrating loss against Panathinaikos and will be looking to bounce back to winning ways. While that is a huge ask for Takis Lemonis’ side, they should be able to make it difficult for their visitors and with the backing of their home fans, maybe even snatch an extremely unlikely point.