Follow minute-by-minute live text commentary as Arsenal take on Olympiakos at The Emirates Stadium in the UEFA Champions League
Arsenal will be looking to continue their rich run of form when they host Olympiacos in the second Champions League group game this Wednesday night. Arsenal have scored 13 goals in their last three home games – conceding just 6 and will fancy themselves against Greek side, Olympiakos.
Having beaten French champions Montpellier away – Arsenal have got off to a great start in this season's campaign. Conceding an early penalty – Arsenal scored a quick fire double courtesy of Lucas Podolski and Gervinho. With a draw against Manchester City , Arsene Wenger's side have surprised the majority so far and with this new look Gunner's side, they stand a strong chance to qualify, atleast.
Olympiakos on the other hand fell victim to a Klass Jan Huntelaar inspired Schalke 04. The German side ran out 2-1 victorious from a Huntelaar penalty – and with their first away win of this seasons campaign, Schalke will feel they are definitly contenders to top Group B. However, Olympiacos currently boast a perfect record to the start of there domestic league. With (4 wins from 4, and 12 goals scored) they should feel capabale of causing an upset at The Emirates.
Arsenal Last 5 Results: W – W – D – W - L
With 13 goals scored at The Emirates this season in all competitions, Arsenal have made their home ground a fortress. Much can be made of this new team Wenger has created, but the true reason behind this success is new assistant coach Steve Bould. The former Gunner's center back has come in to replace Pat Rice and Arsenal look formidable at the back.
A clever goal courtesy of Fernando Torres and Juan Mata's set pieces caused Arsenal their first loss of the season at The Emirates. If Arsenal are too have a successful campaign without the likes of Robin Van Persie and Alex Song – they will need to respond quickly – another three points in The Champions League would do well for The Gunners, who will be looking to top there group.
Having conceded six goals in the league this season, the Arsenal back four of old has been replaced with a new, organized and vocal defence that is crucial to any title challenge. Although at the start of the season they appeared to be struggling for goals – Arsenal have put that problem behind them. With a staggering 18 goals in all competitions this year, Olympiakos will need to tight in defence to stop Cazorla & co running riot.
Olympiakos Last 5 Results: W – W – L – W – W
Despite losing their opening Champions League game against Schalke – Olympiakos are in a good run of form themselves. Having a perfect start to the season with 15 points from 15– the defending Greek Champions have started their season emphatically and will be looking to get their European campaign started with a result agianst Arsenal.
With Rafik Djebbour on their cards, they are a threat to any side. The Algerian superstar already has 6 goals this season – just in the league. He will be Olympiakos' man leading from the front. The Greek side will have to look to him for goals if they are to get a results this Wednesday.
Arsenal v Olympiakos Head to Head Record: -
Arsenal and Olympiakos have met just four times in their long history, each side having two victories to their name. The most recent meeting saw Olympiakos victorious with a 3-1 win over Arsenal. However, Arsenal were victorious in the first game – with a 2-1 victory. The first meeting between these sides back in 2009, were also very similar. Arsenal winning the first game 2-0, only to lose the away fixture 1-0.
06/12/11 - Champions League – Olympiakos 3 – 1 Arsenal
29/09/11 - Champions League – Arsenal 2 – 1 Olympiakos
09/12/09 - Champions League – Olympiakos 1 – 0 Arsenal
30-09/09 - Champions League – Arsenal 2 – 0 Olympiakos
The Gunners have always played the home fixture first against Olympiakos and have not lost to Olympiakos at home, nor have they won away to The Greek Champions. If stats are anything to go by – we can expect an Arsenal win this Wednesday evening.
Player To Watch: Arsenal – Santi Cazorla
The Spanish summer acquisition has been a revelation at The Emirates this season. A two-footed, skillful typical Spanish player – Cazorla has been the signing to prove that Wenger has definitely not lost his touch in the transfer market. A player who has finally filled the void left by Fabregas, although with a bit of brawn in his favour, the midfield man is a typical Arsenal player.
With two assists and a goal in The Barclays Premier league already, Cazorla settled into the Arsenal first team immediately. Of course, Wenger knew this.
'We knew very quickly that Cazorla was not going to take six months to settle.' The Arsenal tactician has found himself a gem from Spanish side Malaga, and will look to him to re-ignite the desire & passion for trophies that Arsenal appear to have been missing for the last 7 years.
Player To Watch: Olympiakos - Rafik Djebbour
The Algerian striker has already scored 6 goals for Olympiakos in the Greek Super League and assisted his sides goal against Schalke. Djebbour will be looking to make a name for himself on the European stage and what better place to do it against English giants Arsenal.
The main man for Olympiakos, the Greek side will have to look to Djebbour if they are to earn there first away victory over Arsenal. Although with Arsenal having only shipped two goals at home this season – Djebbour will have to be on his best if he is to get a result for his side.
Probable Line Up: Arsenal - Mannone - Jenkinson - Koscielny - Vermaelen - Gibbs - Arteta - Cazorla - Diaby - Chamberlain - Gervinho - Podolski
Probable Line Up: Olympiakos - Carroll - Torosidis - Papazoglou - Modesto - Holebas - Machado - Fuster -Ibagaza - Abdoun - Mitroglou - Djebbour
Predicted Score: 1-0
If stats are anything to by – expect Arsenal to win the first tie at home, just.
Olympiakos are yet to taste victory at Arsenal and the English side are looking dominant at home. Although Arsenal are scoring freely in The Barclays Premier League – expect them to have a much tougher test against The Greek Champions.
Arsenal have scored two goals at home the last two times these sides have faced each other – and I believe that will continute on Wednesday night.