Football Tips: Paddy’s 3 best bets as Arsenal host Olympiakos on Thursday

The Gunners are looking to close out Europa League progression against Olympiakos on Thursday.

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

Arsenal have one foot firmly planted in the next round but will need to be alert to bring the curtain down on their second leg tie against Olympiakos in the Europa League on Thursday evening. The Gunners are 3-1 up on aggregate but will be all too aware that the Greek side are full of goals on their day and they beat them here at the Emirates around this time last year. Not much has changed in the world since then, eh? Let’s go deep into the stats and form and find the three Best Bets for this Europa League Last 16 tie.

Thursday 5.55pm: Arsenal v Olympiakos
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A picture shows the Dennis Bergkamp statue outside the stadium ahead of kick off of the UEFA Champions League Group F football match between Arsenal and Olympiakos at The Emirates Stadium in north London on September 29, 2015. AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Both Teams to Score

Arsenal are enjoying a decent run of form of late, they’ve won four of their last five matches in all competitions, drawing the other one. Looking at just their home form things aren’t as good but still decent considering they’ve faced both Manchester clubs, Spurs, Benfica and Leeds over their five most previous on home turf. Over those five they won three, drawing one and losing one, scoring nine and conceding six.

Their clean sheet record isn’t the best, they’ve only kept their opponents scoreless on four out of their last 15 home matches and Olympiakos will take much confidence from that. The Greek side have scored now in all 24 of their most recent matches. They’ve also scored at least one away goal in all 16 of their most recent away matches in all competitions. With those stats we’d be slightly bonkers not to back Both Teams to Score here.

Arsenal to Win and Over 2.5 Goals

Arsenal’s goal average for the season hasn’t been mighty in the Premier League where they’re averaging just 1.29 goals per home match this season. But things have improved a wee bit of late, having scored 12 over their five most recent matches and 12 over their six most recent at home.

Over 2.5 goals has landed in four out of five previous matches for the Gunners, in three out of five recent home games and in all four of their home Europa League matches so far this campaign. Of course the away side simply have to go for it here but what was clearly evident last week was the massive difference in quality between both sides.

Mikel Arteta


No doubt the Greek side will make a fist of it and cause a few problems but unless they get an early goal and pile on the pressure then over 90 minutes this Arsenal side, particularly as they’re enjoying a great run of late, should get the better of them. There’s plenty of goals in the away side though, scoring 10 over their five most recent and eight over their five most previous away matches.

Arsenal should come out on top here but this has the look of goals about it. We’re backing Arsenal to Win and Over 2.5 Goals.

Half Time: Draw

Arsenal have been fairly slow to start their matches this season. In the Premier League they’ve been drawing at halftime in eight of their 14 home matches and have only scored eight goals over those matches. Looking at their five most recent matches we can see that three of them have also been level at halftime and two of their four Europa League matches at the Emirates have also been level at halftime.

As said above, the Greeks have to come out fighting here but they really don’t get many first-half goals. Looking at their league form this season they’ve only scored 31% of their goals in the first period of play and looking at their five most recent on the road they’ve only scored a first-half goal in two. We should be looking at a Half Time: Draw with those stats.

Arsenal v Olympiakos tips

Both Teams To Score
Over 2.5 Goals
Half Time: Draw

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change


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