Olympiakos - Freiburg predictions and free betting tips [21/09/2023]
On Thursday, the 21st of September, as part of the inaugural round of the Europa League group stage, Olympiakos will host Freiburg on their home ground. While the hosts have confidently started their season without any losses, the same cannot be said for the German club, which has been alternating between victories and defeats.
Olympiakos: Paschalakis; Rodinei, Retsos, Freire, Quini; Camara, Iborra; Masouras, Fortounis, Podence; El Kaabi.
Freiburg: Atubolu; Schmidt, Gulde, Ginter; Sildillia, Eggestein, Hofler, Kubler; Doan, Adamu, Grifo.
The match will take place in Athens, at the Karaiskakis Stadium.
Last year, Olympiakos did not live up to the expectations of their fans during the Europa League group stage, finishing last in their group after Freiburg, Nantes, and Karabakh. This disappointment marked a poor season for the Piraeus club, who, for the first time in three years, yielded the title of Greek champions to AEK Athens. However, under coach Diego Martínez's leadership, they accomplished more over the summer: They defeated Genk (2:1 on aggregate over two matches) and then Čukarički (6:1) in the Europa League qualifying tournament, thus progressing to the main round of the competition.
In the league, the Whites and Reds have been relentless, winning their first three opening matches without conceding a goal. On the past Sunday, Olympiakos managed to keep a draw in the derby against AEK Athens. The team hasn't been defeated in eight matches since 10th August, with three victories in their first four home games. Heading into Thursday's match, the hosts can rely on their optimal lineup.
Freiburg, on the other hand, has emerged as one of the revelations in German football and is beginning to gain experience in European competitions. Last season, they were knocked out in the 1/8 finals of the Europa League by Juventus. With coach Christian Streich at the helm, they came close to Champions League qualification in the spring but slipped up at the end of the season and had to settle for fifth place in the Bundesliga. Last month, the Black and Whites had a decent start in the national championship with two victories over Hoffenheim (2:1) and Werder Bremen (1:0), but stumbled before the international fixtures and suffered a 5:0 loss to Stuttgart. This past weekend, the visitors lost 4:2 to Borussia Dortmund in a head-to-head shootout with Streich's charges.
As already mentioned, the teams encountered each other in the Europa League group stage last season, with Freiburg coming out on top on aggregate (1:1 and 3:0).
Match Prediction: Olympiakos vs. Freiburg
Despite Freiburg being only a slight favourite on paper, there’s no doubting the motivation of the Greek team on their home turf. Olympiakos have started the season on a strong foot without any losses, while the Black and Whites have been inconsistently dropping points in the Bundesliga. The hosts made encouraging transfers over the summer, so they could get their revenge on Freiburg for last year's campaign. I'm betting that the Whites and Reds will at least avoid defeat.
In their last five matches, Olympiakos have netted 15 goals (an average of three per game). Of course, the rivals are now of a higher class – yet scoring at least one goal on home ground is more than manageable.
As rightful hosts, Olympiakos will take the initiative and deliver at least 4 corners.
Yellow Cards Prediction
Both sides averaged two warnings in the previous Europa League season, so I'm betting on the total number of yellow cards exceeding 3.5.
I’ll wager a precise score of 2:1 in favour of Olympiakos.