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Preview: Olympiacos vs. Fenerbahce - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Olympiacos vs. Fenerbahce - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League clash between Olympiacos and Fenerbahce, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Olympiacos have the opportunity to guarantee their progression into the next round of the Europa League with a victory on Thursday when they host Fenerbahce.

However, the visitors could leapfrog them in the table and force things to go down to the final game of the group if they can secure a win.

Match preview

Olympiacos currently sit second in Group D after picking up two victories and defeats in the opening matches, with four points between them and current table-toppers Eintracht Frankfurt.

However, the Greek outfit have put themselves in a position where a victory would guarantee them progression to the knockout phase of the competition on Thursday.

Pedro Martins will need to see his team turn around their recent form in the Europa League, though, as they suffered consecutive defeats against Frankfurt in the past two games.

Yet they should take confidence from the fact they were able to beat Fenerbahce when they met earlier on this season, doing so in a comfortable fashion.

Olympiacos won the game 3-0 with Francisco Soares setting the tone on the day with a goal in the sixth minute before Giorgos Masouras secured the result with a second-half brace.

Even though Fenerbahce have only been able to win once in Group D, their loss against their opponents in the reverse fixture is the only time they have been beaten.

The Turkish outfit managed to gain a victory in their most recent outing in the Europa League when they put three past Royal Antwerp, which proved to be a vital victory.

Vitor Pereira's squad have drawn two of their four matches in the competition, proving that they are resilient and not easy to defeat, which they will be hoping to continue on Thursday night.

As long as Fenerbahce do not lose, they will have a chance of progressing in the final match of the group stage, which is an opportunity the club will be desperate to have.

The team head into the game on the back of a hard-fought win against Galatasaray at the weekend, with a last-minute goal from Miguel Crespo earning the 2-1 victory despite the fact they only had 10 men.

That type of confidence will be needed against a club in good form in what is set to be a closely-contested European cup tie.

Olympiacos Europa League form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L

Olympiacos form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Fenerbahce Europa League form:
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • W

Fenerbahce form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W

Team News

Youssef El-Arabi has been impressive in front of goal this season for Olympiacos and he is sure to lead the line on Thursday after scoring a brace at the weekend.

However, the club will be able to welcome back Pierre Kunde after his sprain, while Michael Karbownik will also be unavailable after sustaining a ligament issue.

It is expected that Fenerbahce will match up with their opponents by playing a 4-3-2-1 formation, making it a man-for-man battle to keep things as tight as possible.

Altay Bayindir is unavailable due to a shoulder problem which will lead to Berke Ozer starting in goal, while Enner Valencia is dealing with an ankle injury at the moment.

Olympiacos possible starting lineup:
Vaclik; Lala, Papastathopoulos, Cisse, Reabciuk; M'Vila, M. Camara; Onyekuru, A. Camara, Masouras; El-Arabi

Fenerbahce possible starting lineup:
Ozer; Kadioglu, Kim, Novak, Tisserand; Yandas, Sosa; Ozil, Zajc, Kahveci; Berisha

We say: Olympiacos 1-1 Fenerbahce

There is a lot on the line for both teams heading into this match and that pressure could lead to quite a cagey affair taking place.

A draw would see both teams continue to battle for progression into the next round in the final match of the group, which is something that might happen between two even squads.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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