Olympiacos Piraeus take on the visitors Slovan Bratislava in the first leg of UEFA Europa League qualification semifinals. The match will be played on Thursday, August 4th at Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium (Piraeus).
Olympiacos disappointed in July. Since 2020, the Red-Whites have been preventing anyone in Greece from approaching the championship title. And they get to an incredible mark of fifty "gold" medals (now 47). This team plays fairly regularly and well in European competitions. In 2020, the Greeks played in the group stage of the Champions League, last autumn in the Europa League, and both times in this European Cup they made their way to the playoffs. And now they suddenly flew out in the Champions League qualification from the very first opponent! Perhaps the lack of practice affected, or they simply underestimated the opponent. In any case, after 1-1 in Haifa, "Oli" managed to lose to Maccabi home 0-4!
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Slovan Bratislava hold the status of the strongest in the country. The Sky Blues have been steadily churning out league titles since 2019. And thanks to this, they also regularly played in the Champions League. It was not possible to stay there for a long time, but in 2019 it turned out to get to the group stage of the Europa League, and last season they played in the group stage of the Conference League. This summer, the Slovaks managed to eliminate Dinamo Batumi, winning in extra time after a couple of draws. Moreover, it turned out to win against the solid Ferencvaros, and in Budapest. After these 2-1 would have been enough in his native Bratislava and a draw. But the decisive match was completely failed: by the end of half an hour, the Slovaks had already conceded twice. They still managed to score a goal in return. But they couldn't even make it to overtime: the Hungarians put the squeeze on the hosts, scoring in the 89th and 90+5 minutes.
The parties have already played each other twice. In 2009, in the Champions League qualifier, Olympiacos won both matches with identical 2-0 scores. Last summer, the sides crossed paths in the final round of Europa League qualifiers, and again the Greeks were better: first it was 3-0 at home, after which it was no threat and 2-2 in Bratislava. Olympiacos will be able to extend their successful streak with Slovan. We bet on the Greeks with a handicap "-1 goal".
Prediction for the match: Olympiacos to win.