Wolves v Olympiacos: Expert's view on Europa League opponents

Wolves are going up against Olympiacos in a big Europa League encounter next week – but what state are the Greek side in?

The two sides drew 1-1 in the first leg (AMA)
The two sides drew 1-1 in the first leg (AMA)

Nuno Espirito Santo's side, of course, drew 1-1 with them in the last-16 first-leg at the Karaiskaki Stadium, so have an idea of the test they will face.

That clash, because of the pandemic, was all the way back in March, though.

And since then, Olympiacos – who knocked Arsenal out of the Europa earlier this campaign, let's not forget – have only got stronger.

They won the Greek Super League – picking up just one loss and finishing 18 points ahead of second-placed PAOK.

They are also due to play in the Greek Cup final, against AEK Athens.

Dimitris Samolis, the Olympiacos reporter for Sport 24, explained: "The administration of Olympiacos, the fans of Olympiacos, almost everybody is saying that this team is one of the best in the club's history!

"They've had amazing results and played very good football. They have only lost once – and after the championship was won.

"Everyone recalls the away game against Arsenal, and this is what makes everyone think they can do the same at Molineux.

"Everybody understands how difficult it will be, because Wolves have a lot of quality players who can easily make the difference, but everybody at Olympiacos has confidence.

"They strongly believe they can make this miracle and move to the final eight."

Mathieu Valbuena has been highlighted as a threat (AMA)

In the first leg, Olympiacos had Ruben Semedo sent off after just 28 minutes but still took the lead through Youssef El-Arabi.

Pedro Neto then equalised for Wolves – with the away goal meaning Nuno's side will go through if the Molineux match ends 0-0.

Samolis expects a much different game this time around, though, as he said: "Olympiacos will behave differently, compared to the first game.

"Although Olympiacos need to score, I believe in the beginning that Wolves will have more possession.

"I think Olympiacos will have a strategy to wait, defend, until the moment they feel they have to attack."

And when asked which players Wolves will need to be particularly of, Samolis added: "Mathieu Valbuena, although he's 35 years old, is one of the most dangerous players for Olympiacos.

"He's proved his age means nothing, as he has so many assists.

"He has an amazing right foot that can easily do the damage.

"I'm sure he will be very crucial, and it is the same with El-Arabi, the striker.

"He has 27 goals and has scored so many different goals, so I believe those two players will be very important.

"The Portuguese goalkeeper, Jose Sa, is excellent and has kept 28 clean sheets this season.

"He is the only player to achieve this, all over the world."

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