In the final matchweek of the Group Stage of the Champions League, struggling English giants Arsenal will come up against Greek side Olympiakos.
Since thumping their arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspurs 5-2, Arsenal have been struggling for form lately and with their two-nil home defeat at the hands of Swansea City over the weekend, the club is now sitting a shocking tenth in the league.
Nonethteless, with qualification assured and perhaps winning the top spot in the group a virtually unrealistic task, Arsenal are expected to give their second-team stars some much required playing time.Francis Coquelin and Tomas Rosicky could start the game, whereas Johan Djourou too is likely to see some first-team action. However, Andre Santos remains a doubt, while Abou Diaby is out with a thigh injury.
Olympiakos, on the other hand have only one major injury concern in the form of Avraam Papadopoulous, who could be out for the long-term and with Europa League qualification assured, Leonardo Jardim, too, might play with a brigade of reserve players.
Olympiakos: Carroll;Torosidis, Modesto, Maniatis, Holebas;Machado, Fuster, Abdoun Ibagaza;Mitroglu, Djebbour
Arsenal: Szczesny;Jenkinson, Djourou, Vermaelen, Santo; Coquelin, Rosicky, Ramsey;Oxlade-Chamberlain, Chamakh, Gervinho
Player To Watch Out For: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Often touted as the ‘future of English football’, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has not quite really set the Premier League on fire this term. Having tormented the defenders with his exquisite skills and pace during the second half of last season, the 19-year-old has been a disappointment so far, with the injury issues further adding to the woes of the youngster. Hence, in a match with no relative significance, AOC will be provided with the ideal opportunity to get his season off-and-running with a strong display and offer respite to the sunken club fans.
Prediction: Olympiakos 2-2 Arsenal
A slightly bold prediction but with both teams expected to rest their first-team choices, this match could see some fine attacking plays. Arsenal are enduring a disappointing run as aforementioned and hence, it could be hard for the Gunners to come out victorious against an inform Olympiakos team that is currently comfortably sitting at the top of their domestic league table.
Trivia: Olympiakos have lost only three of their last 17 home matches in the Champions League, whereas, Arsenal have managed just six away wins from their previous 17 trips in Europe's elite competition (via Goal.com).
Where To Watch Online: Olympiakos vs. Arsenal918987