Olympiakos v Arsenal: Gunners exit to prove unexpectedly emphatic

One of the greatest Arsene Wenger streaks is in serious jeopardy at Olympiakos
One of the greatest Arsene Wenger streaks is in serious jeopardy at Olympiakos
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Arsenal won't just suffer Champions League elimination in Greece, they will go out on a loss, claims Michael Lintorn...


"The Gunners have an awful record in their final away game of the Champions League group stage, losing it in an extraordinary seven of the past eight seasons."

Back Olympiakos to win @ 3.711/4

Olympiakos 3.711/4 v Arsenal 2.111/10; The Draw 3.953/1
Wednesday, 19:45
Live on BT Sport Europe


Olympiakos

Having exited in the group stage in three of the past four years, all Olympiakos need to do to qualify at the expense of Arsenal - who have reached the last 16 in 15 successive seasons - is avoid a defeat either by a margin of two goals or greater or in which they concede three times or more.

They are far less hindered by injuries than their opponents. Andreas Bouchalakis, who hasn't played a minute of this Champions League campaign, is the sole confirmed absentee, with Giannis Maniatis a further doubt.


Arsenal

Not since being paired with Barcelona, Fiorentina and AIK in 1999/00 has a Champions League group proven beyond Arsenal's capabilities, but the belief is that this term's Group F is the one to end their superb progression streak, as they are 3.259/4 to find a way out of their self-dug crater.

As if the task at hand wasn't already challenging enough on its own, the fiendishness is increased by the absence of Francis Coquelin, Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta, Tomas Rosicky, Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck.


Match Odds

Arsenal's 2.0811/10 favourite status seems to be based on their desperation and the fact that victory is their only possible route through to the knockout phase - and even then it might not be sufficient.

However, there are two far more compelling reasons to be inspired not just to lay them but back them to whimper out with a defeat at hefty odds of 3.711/4.

The first is that the Gunners have an awful record in their final away game of the Champions League group stage, losing it in an extraordinary seven of the past eight seasons.

Among their conquerors in that period were Sporting Braga, Porto, Sevilla and Napoli. Oh yeah, and Olympiakos - three times! That's right, Arsene Wenger's men have faced them in Greece three times - every one of them in week six - and they have been beaten 1-0 (2009), 3-1 (2011) and 2-1 (2012).

At least on those occasions, Arsenal won the reverse fixture at the Emirates relatively sedately, whereas this year they were turned over 3-2 in north London, rendering their ranking as market leaders all the more peculiar.

Their road form has faded lately too, from five wins in seven from August to mid-October to one in five since. There have been three reverses in that sequence: a 2-1 at West Brom, a 5-1 at Bayern Munich and a 3-0 at Sheffield Wednesday.


Both Teams to Score

Given Arsenal's need to either score three or prevail by a two-goal margin, any Olympiakos net-rippler is going to make things even trickier, yet all evidence points to the hosts firing at least once.

For starters, they struck three times at the Emirates, while they responded to the blow of being shut out away to Bayern Munich in their previous European encounter by notching 11 times in three matches since.

The German giants were also the only of their last 14 Champions League guests to leave Greece without being breached. By contrast, Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund gave up three goals there, and Manchester United two.

The visitors have kept just one clean sheet in six on their continental travels, leaking 11 times in the less successful five, though they registered in each of the most recent five, doing so ten times in total across those contests. Both teams to score is available to back at 1.75/7.


Recommended Bet:

Back Olympiakos to win @ 3.711/4


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