Olympiacos host the mighty Barcelona and seek their first points in UEFA Champions League Group D. The Greek side have lost all three outings in the Group and have managed just three goals in total in those defeats. They lost 3-1 to Barcelona two weeks ago at the Camp Nou, with a late consolation goal from Dimitrios Nikolaou providing scant joy, as they were toyed with for long periods by the Spanish champions.
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Barcelona top the Group with nine points, having beaten all their rivals, scoring seven goals in total and conceding just once. Their form in La Liga is similarly almost spotless, with only Atletico Madrid taking points off of them via a 1-1 draw a couple of weeks ago. Since then, the Catalan club have beaten both Malaga and Athletic Bilbao, whom they downed 2-0 on Saturday.
Our Olympiacos vs Barcelona preview feels that the hosts, while not winning, have not been blown away by superior sides and that they may be able to keep things close in the first half. We also suggest in our Olympiacos vs Barcelona predictions that Barcelona have proven to be stronger as games wear on and that the visitors are unlikely to slip up at the Stadio Georgios Karaiskaki.
When a superior team takes on an over-matched opponent, as is the case when Barcelona travel to Olympiacos, finding the value in the betting markets is not an exact science. The odds are stacked in favour of the side who will invariably win and there is little value in backing Barcelona around the restrictive odds of 1/5, especially away from home.
The Catalan side have failed to lead at half-time in just four of their opening 10 La Liga games. They have also led at the interval in two of their three Champions League outings, although they were held scoreless by Sporting on their trip to Lisbon. In contrast, Olympiacos have been behind at the interval in two of their three Group D games. Domestically, they have not once been behind at the break in their first nine Greek Super League games this season.
It seems there is little value in opposing Barcelona, given the plethora of attacking talent Ernesto Valverde has at his disposal, but at the current European football odds, backing the hosts to be level at the break looks a trifle too big. Our Olympiacos vs Barcelona betting tips favour the Half-Time/Full-Time option of a cagey 45 minutes followed by the usual Barcelona second-half surge. Betfred offers tremendous value in this market compared to some firms and at their odds, it is worth a speculative dabble.
Getting too greedy with a double result? Perhaps. Yet the odds are heavily in favour of Barcelona, so trying to find the value leads us down a path of attempting a correct result/number of goals duo. We know that Olympiacos are a well-organised unit who seldom get blown away. Their three domestic defeats this term came via single-goal margins and it wasn’t until the second half that Juventus managed to break their resistance in a 2-0 loss in Turin. Barcelona only managed one goal in the first half against the Greek side in their first meeting, too.
While two of Barcelona’s three Group D games yielded four total goals, it wasn’t until the waning moments that the tally of three goals was eclipsed in their first clash with Olympiacos. It is perhaps worth noting that the Greek side’s home matches in the Super League yielded five, two, one, and one goals in each of their first four home games.
Of course, a side containing Lionel Messi can tear apart any side on any given day. Yet while a case for this to be one of the football tips of the day is largely based on conjecture rather than solid statistical fact, once the Catalan club have the upper hand, they may well take their foot off the gas, as they will have all but won the Group. We rely on the home side to give their all but ultimately be worn down by a superior outfit. One of the most value-laden Olympiacos vs Barcelona bets is for Barcelona to sneak a win, with under 3.5 total goals being scored. Betway offer a shade of odds-against and that looks about right.
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