Rival Analysis: Olympiacos profile
Paokfc.gr’s Rival Analysis column puts the magnifying glass on this weekend’s derby opponents Olympiacos, giving you the lowdown on everything you need to know about the Piraeus club ahead of our Super League Interwetten contest at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium.
Olympiacos did not make a good start to the season. Aspirations for a place in the UEFA Champions League were dashed by Ludogorets in the 3rd qualifying round, with the Piraeus club managing to overcome the obstacle of Slovan Bratislava and secure a place in the UEFA Europa League group stage.
In their six league games to date, the Red and Whites have collected 14 points and are in second place, two behind AEK, who have played one game more than Olympiacos, PAOK and Volos.
In the Europa League, Olympiacos have chalked up six points in the first three games and is in second place, taking an important step towards qualifying with two victories in the first two games.
The squad and coach
Pedro Martins remains in the dugout for another year. The Portuguese coach has already won two consecutive league championships and one Greek Cup, and the club’s management have invested the fate of the team in his experienced hands for the fourth consecutive season. At the end of this season he will become the club’s longest-serving coach, leaving Dusan Bajevic in second place.
The Red and Whites changed their squad quite a lot once again this summer with many new faces coming and many leaving.
El Arabi, Kamara, Masouras and Bouchalakis, as well as the 37-year-old Valbuena continue to be the main quality barometers for Piraeus this year.
Beyond that, Agibu Kamara, Tomas Vaclik and Ticino Soares are the arrivals that have made an impact so far, while the club are expecting great things from Karbownik, Rony Lopes, Onyekuru, Garry Rodregues and Kunde, who all came in over the summer to strengthen the squad.
The team’s significant loss is Kostas Fortounis, who suffered a serious knee injury during pre-season and is expected to miss most of the season.