Football News

Aston Villa vs Olympiakos predicted XIs: Confirmed team news and probable line-ups

By Dean Smith

Published: 16:34, 1 May 2024

Aston Villa are dreaming of reaching this season’s Europa Conference League final and they can move a step closer to making that a reality when they welcome Olympiakos to Villa Park for the first leg of their semi-final tie.

Thursday’s match will kick-off at 20:00 BST and will be broadcast live on TNT Sports 1 and TNT Sports Ultimate.

This will be Villa’s first European semi-final in 42 years and they head into the game in good form, having lost just three of their last 15 matches in all competitions.

Olympiakos have never previously made it to the last four of a European competition but they are also on an impressive run, losing just once in seven matches.

Both sides needed penalties to make it to the last four. Villa saw off Lille in the quarters while Olympiakos got the better of Fenerbahce, and this two-legged semi-final could be another decided by fine margins.

Plenty of European pedigree in both dugouts

It has been impressive how Villa have juggled both their domestic and European commitments this season, but it should not be a huge surprise given they have a continental specialist in the dugout in Unai Emery.

Emery led Sevilla to three successive Europa League triumphs between 2014 and 2016 before adding a fourth victory in that competition with Villarreal in 2021.

The Spaniard also guided Arsenal to the Europa League final in 2019 and he will be dreaming of enjoying more continental success with Villa while maintaining his side’s push for a top-four finish in the Premier League.

Olympiakos also have a manager with recent European pedigree as their boss Jose Luis Mendilibar, who took charge of the Piraeus club in February, led Emery’s former side Sevilla to their latest Europa League success just last season.

Another European final awaits either Emery or Mendilibar and Thursday’s first leg could go a long way to deciding who will be in the dugout for the showpiece in Athens at the end of May.


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Aston Villa vs Olympiakos Team News

Villa will be without first-choice goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, who is suspended for the first leg, but he would have been a doubt in any case after injuring his thigh in the Villans’ weekend draw with Chelsea. Robin Olsen is set to deputise in net.

Midfielder Youri Tielemans came off against the Blues with a groin issue and is a doubt while Boubacar Kamara, Emiliano Buendia, Tyrone Mings (all knee), Jacob Ramsey (foot), Alex Moreno (calf) and Nicolo Zaniolo (unspecified) remain sidelined.

Olympiakos will be without suspended duo Andreas Ndoj and Georgios Masouras but centre-back Panagiotis Retsos is available after serving his own one-match ban in Europe.

Ruben Vezo, Gelson Martins and Nelson Abbey featured in the weekend league win over Lamia but all three are ineligible for Thursday’s first leg after being omitted from Olympiakos’ Europa Conference League squad.

Aston Villa vs Olympiakos Predicted XIs:

Aston Villa: Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Torres, Digne; Bailey, Luiz, McGinn, Rogers; Duran, Watkins

Olympiakos: Tzolakis; Rodinei, Restos, Carmo, Ortega; Horta, Chiquinho, Hezze; Fortounis, El Kaabi, Podence

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