Preview: Olympiacos vs. Genk

Preview: Olympiacos vs. Genk

Olympiacos and Genk square off in the first leg of their Europa League third qualifying round matchup on Thursday in what is undoubtedly one of the ties of the round.

While Olympiacos will be participating in their first competitive encounter of the season, Genk have already lost out in the Champions League.

Olympiacos have been used to winning Greek titles in recent years, giving them every opportunity to compete at European football’s top table.

However, the Red-Whites were only able to muster a third-placed finish in 2022-23, leaving them requiring to win at least one qualification tie to guarantee group-stage action on the continent.

With domestic action yet to get underway, Diego Martinez’s side have instead participated in a number of friendlies, impressing during a recent 3-1 victory over Rangers.

Three days on from that triumph, though, Olympiacos were on the receiving end of a 2-0 defeat to English second-tier side Norwich City, highlighting that much improvement will be required to compete on this stage.

A wide array of new arrivals have been made this summer, including that of Ecuador star Jackson Porozo and Greece international Sotiris Alexandropoulos.

Meanwhile, Genk have been looking for a response from dramatically losing their grasp of the Belgian title on the final day of last season.

Instead, they have endured a disappointing start to 2023-24, losing one of their opening two league fixtures and already bowing out of the Champions League.

Wouter Vrancken witnessed his side play out two draws with Servette before succumbing to the Swiss side on penalties, a setback which was then followed by a surprise 1-0 home defeat to Eupen.

Although Genk have seemingly bought well this summer, this team is yet to gel, and such a factor may level up a tie against opponents who are in need of competitive action.

Olympiacos form (pre-season friendlies):

Genk form (all competitions):

We say: Olympiacos 1-1 Genk
Although Genk have the greater match fitness in their legs, we cannot ignore that they have earned mixed results during their opening quartet of fixtures. With home advantage in their favour, Olympiacos may do enough to match their opponents and earn a share of the spoils.

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