Olympiakos v Burnley
Thursday 23 August, 19:00
Live on Eleven Sports

Greek giants looking to bounce back

All good things come to an end, and they ceased in spectacular fashion for Olympiakos last term. Having won seven straight Greek Super League titles, the Piraeus club imploded,finishing third behind PAOK and the eventual champions AEK Athens.
The failure had been coming. A new coach has been appointed ten times over the past two seasons (although Takis Lemonis appears twice in that list), and at one stage, owner Evangelos Marinakis threatened to replace his underachieving squad with Under-20 players.
Portuguese coach Pedro Martins has made a good start to the campaign, overseeing a 7-1 thrashing of Swiss side Luzern in the previous round. He knows failure to qualify for the group stage could prove personally costly.
Stretching back in to last season, Olympiakos have won their last three home matches, scoring 13 goals and conceding just one.
However, if you look at their displays against quality opposition last term, you see that they lost at home to AEK Athens, Juventus and Sporting.

Burnley bullish despite PL false start

Whenever a club outside the Premier League's big hitters qualifies for Europe, there is a fear that either they will sacrifice the tournament they have reached by fielding weakened sides, or that the strains of continental competition will affect their league form.
Burnley have taken just a point from their first two Premier League games, but manager Sean Dyche insists he wants to stay in the Europa League for as long as possible, describing the Clarets' involvement as a badge of honour.
Dyche has shuffled his pack for European games, but to good effect so far. They needed extra time to squeeze past both Aberdeen and Istanbul Basaksehir, but both victories were ultimately impressive given the strength of the opposition. Dyche is confident that the tireless work his coaching staff do on fitness is paying off, and the results back that up.
New signing Matej Vydra has been added to the Europa League squad, and has a good chance of making his debut in attack.
Burnley's new centre-back Ben Gibson says a trip to Athens represents the kind of fixture he dreamt about as a boy, and you get the sense that Burnley are really up for this.

Burnley can frustrate the hosts

Burnley have dug in for draws in Aberdeen and Istanbul, and I'll be surprised if that approach changes in Greece. Dyche's work is based on making life difficult for the opposition, reducing the quality of their shots and outworking them in general.
Olympiakos haven't started their league season yet, and a comfortable pair of wins against a limited Luzern side give us few clues.
Burnley are at least as good technically as Olympiakos in most cases, and I'll wager they are fitter at this stage.
I'll lay the hosts at 1.67.

Chances at a premium in nervy clash

This game means a lot to Olympiakos, given their failures last season, so there is huge pressure on them and coach Martins. Burnley will take few risks, and all four of their UEL games so far have featured fewer than three goals.
Under 2.5 Goals is understandably short at 1.59.
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Lay Olympiakos at 1.67

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