The Olympiakos vs Manchester United Champions League Match will take place this Tuesday, February 25, 2014 (11:45 AM Pacific, 19:45 GMT). David Moyes and Manchester United have the pick of the ties in comparison with the other English sides in the Champions League last 16, at least on paper.
Underestimating Olympiakos would be a huge error however, they are unbeaten in the Greek top division and hold a massive 20 point lead at the top of the table. The fanatical support they enjoy will ensure a red hot and intimidating atmosphere and United must call on their wealth of European experience to be able to get something from the game.
All domestic form goes out of the window on European nights and United are unbeaten in this year’s competition. With Rooney and Van Persie both currently exhibiting the kind of form that Moyes must wish he’d had available all season, United are undoubtedly favorites to progress, but they mustn’t leave the Karaiskaki Stadium empty handed. An away goal or two will be on the agenda and United will fancy their chances if they can silence the crowd early on.
Olympiakos Team News
Having sold their top scorer Konstantinos Mitroglou to Fulham in January and with Saviola currently sidelined, the goal threat will come from the young Nigerian striker Olaitan. Former United keeper Roy Carroll now plies his trade at the club and despite finding himself in the bench this season, the 36 year old is sure to be able to offer some insights to his team mates, as they try to win against United for the first time in 4 previous attempts.
Manchester United Team News
United have now played 40 games this season and have changed the side 40 times. But, there is likely to be a very similar look to the side that played in their away win at Crystal Palace on Saturday, with the exception of cup-tied Juan Mata. Experience will be vital in order to cope with the atmosphere and occasion, so Moyes will stick with Vidic and Ferdinand at the back. His hand is more or less forced, as Evans and Phil Jones remain sidelined along with Rafael and Nani. There’s a chance that Giggs may be selected in central midfield for some extra European experience and if he is, it will be his 150th Champions League appearance.
Olympiakos vs Manchester United Prediction
Over the years, United fans have had some unbelievable away nights in Europe, but this is likely to be a cagey affair. As a first leg tie, the objective for both teams will really be to make sure they are still in it going into the second leg. United will hope to keep the ball and silence the crowd, the worst thing that could happen is some of the sloppy passing and defending that has been a regular feature of their domestic campaign. If they offer any encouragement to Olympiakos, they could be in for a torrid night. But, the players will know that this represents a massive opportunity and they tend to raise their game for nights like this. PREDICTION: Olympiakos 1-2 Manchester United.
Olympiakos vs Manchester United Television
The match will be televised on Fox Sports 1 USA, and ITV 1 (UK).