When and where: The Champions League Group B contest kicks-off from the Emirates at 2.45 p.m ET. A live stream of the match will be available via FoxSoccer2Go.
Preview: After claiming three points on the road in a closely fought opening Champions League match with Montpellier, Arsenal can take another step toward reaching the knockout phase for the 14th consecutive season when they take on Greek champions Olympiakos.
Perhaps of equal importance will be Arsene Wenger’s desire to see his side recover from their first defeat of the season, against Chelsea on Saturday. Up to that point everything was looking for positive for the Gunners as they appeared to be positioning themselves for a challenge both at home and in Europe.
But the defensive solidity, upon which much of those expectations had been based, disappeared against their London rivals. Wenger elected to leave out Per Mertesacker at the expense of Laurent Koscielny and the move backfired as the French defender was involved in the concession of two set-piece goals.
Having previously been so impressive alongside Thomas Vermaelen, Mertesacker looks highly likely to return against Olympiakos. Also perhaps integral to Arsenal’s defeat was dynamic midfielder Abou Diaby being forced off with yet another injury after just 15 minutes. The influential France international is expected to be out for three weeks with a thigh strain.
Diaby’s absence means that Wenger will be sweating even more on the availability of Mikel Arteta, who is due to have a fitness test on an ankle injury.
Arsenal’s Greek opponents have plenty of their own injury problems to worry about, however. Greece internationals Avraam Papadopoulos and Vassilas Torosidis are both ruled out, while Tasos Papazoglou also picked up an injury in their 1-0 victory over Atromitos on Saturday.
While Olympiakos already look well on their way to claiming a seventh Greek title in eight years, having won each of their first five matches, the side looks weakened from last season. Top scorer Kevin Mirallas has departed for Everton, while experienced Swedish defender Olof Mellberg has joined Villareal.
One name in Olympiakos’ lineup who will be familiar to English soccer fans is goalkeeper Roy Carroll. The 35-year-old former Manchester United stopper has endured a tough road since leaving Old Trafford but is now happily reestablishing himself in Greece.
D: Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs
M: Ramsey, Arteta
Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski
D: Greco, Manolas, Contreras, Holebas
M: Maniatis, Modesto
Abdoun, Fuster, Machado
Prediction: For the third time in four years, Arsenal and Olympiakos are meeting in the Champions League group stage. The past contests have reflected the Greek side’s historically poor away record in Europe as they have lost both previous contests at the Emirates despite beating Arsenal twice back at home. With a team weakened through summer departures and injury, it is difficult to envisage that record changing on Wednesday and Arsenal should get back to winning ways in comfortable fashion.
Arsenal 3-1 Olympiakos
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