Football News

Olympiakos vs Aston Villa Predicted XIs and Team News

By Dean Smith

Published: 13:27, 8 May 2024

Trailing 4-2 from the first leg, Aston Villa visit Olympiakos in the second leg of their Europa Conference League semi-final at the Karaiskakis Stadium at 8pm BST on Thursday, live on TNT Sports 1.

A hat-trick from Ayoub El Kaabi sank the hosts in Birmingham last Thursday and anything less than a two-goal victory will result in Villa’s elimination.

Villa have a mountain to climb in Piraeus

The odds are stacked against Aston Villa in Piraeus on Thursday with Unai Emery’s men needing to win by three goals or more to see off Olympiakos at the Karaiskakis Stadium.

Victory by two goals would take the match to extra-time and potentially penalties but even that could be a big ask for a Villa team who have been out of form.

The Villans have posted just one win in their last five matches in all competitions and risk finishing an impressive season on a sour note.

Olympiakos, meanwhile, are bidding to become only the second ever Greek club to reach the final of a major UEFA competition and will do so if they avoid defeat on their own patch.

They head into this game unbeaten in their last four contests in all competitions and have also had the luxury of an extended break with no Greek Super League fixture at the weekend.

Villa, meanwhile, were beaten 1-0 by Brighton at the Amex Stadium, and desperately need to pick themselves up before their visit to Greece.

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El Kaabi worth keeping an eye on

Aston Villa need to push for goals in Piraeus but they will also need their wits about them at the back, as they look to keep tabs on first-leg hattrick-hero El Kaabi.

El Kaabi had struck three times at Villa Park by the 56th minute, taking his goal tally in this season’s Europa Conference League to eight in seven matches.

The forward is also the leading scorer in the Greek Super League this season and will be crucial to Olympiakos’s chances of landing the Europa Conference League title.

Olympiakos vs Aston Villa Team News

Olympiakos will not be able to field any of Ruben Vezo, Nelson Abbey and Gelson Martins, who are all ineligible to play in the Europa Conference League.

Stevan Jovetic, meanwhile, is injured for the hosts but they can welcome back Georgios Masouras and Andreas Ndoj from suspensions on Thursday.

Villa’s injury list features Boubacar Kamara, Emiliano Buendia, Tyrone Mings and Jacob Ramsey.

Morgan Rogers came off with a muscular injury against Brighton last time out and is touch-and-go heading into this game.

Other Villa players to be assessed ahead of kick-off include Alex Moreno, Nicolo Zaniolo, Youri Tielemans and Emiliano Martinez.

Olympiakos vs Aston Villa Predicted XIs

Olympiakos (4-2-3-1): Tzolakis; Rodinei, Ndoj, Restos, Ortega; Iborra, Hezze; Masouras, Chiquinho, Podence; El Kaabi.

Aston Villa (4-4-2): Martinez; Konsa, Carlos, Torres, Digne; Cash, Luiz, McGinn, Bailey; Diaby, Watkins.