Olympiacos take on the visitors Freiburg in the round 1 match of UEFA Europa League group stage. The match will be played on Thursday, September 21st at Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium (Piraeus).
Olympiacos attempts to return to the top of Greek football. The Legend lives up to its nickname. It is a flagship at the national level, nearing the milestone of fifty championship titles. Last year, they secured their 47th such trophy and clearly aimed to continue this streak (they had won gold three times in a row). Especially considering the emergence of stars like Marcelo and James in Piraeus. However, they disappointed, finishing only in 3rd place, much like the team as a whole. They tried to learn from this lesson by appointing Diego Martinez Penas as the coach, known mainly for his work with Granada, which he took to the Europa League playoffs after joining them in the Segunda Division. There are also newcomers, some of whom arrived from Nottingham Forest, which is owned by the same owner. And how can we not mention Jovetic and Podence from Wolverhampton? The new lineup has started well, not only domestically but also in the Europa League, where the Greeks defeated Genk (1-0 and 1-1) and Cukaricki (3-1 and 3-0) in the qualifiers.
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Freiburg are currently playing in the Europa League. They have previously made it to international tournaments, although there have been failures, including relegation to the second division of Germany. However, they have not only risen back to the top but have also solidified their position there. Not everything has gone their way; for instance, they lost the 2022 German Cup final and missed out on 4th place, which would have qualified them for the Champions League. Instead, the Germans find themselves in the Europa League again. In the previous cycle, they comfortably progressed through the group stage but then faced Juventus in the playoffs and were eliminated. Currently, with a reinforced squad including Maximilian Philipp and Junior Adamu, Christian Streich's team has started their Bundesliga campaign confidently, with a couple of wins, although it started with a 0-5 loss to Stuttgart.
Last year, the teams met during the group stage of the Europa League. The Germans managed to win in Piraeus and drew their home match. Once again, the representative from Germany will be the favorite. Let's bet on their victory but hedge it with a 0 handicap.
Prediction for the match: Freiburg to win with 0.0 handicap.