Our 3-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb has given us a much needed boost in our battle for Champions League qualification, and after Bayern Munich’s 4-0 victory over Olympiacos things are in our hands heading into the final game of the group stages.
We still have a serious job on our hands though, as not only do we need at least a 2-0 victory over the Greek side, we will also have to battle against superstition. We’ve played Olympiacos at the Karaiskakis stadium on three previous occasions, all on matchday six, and all ending in defeat.
3 – Arsenal have lost all three previous Champions League games in Olympiakos, all on Matchday 6. Hoodoo.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 24, 2015
Obviously in the past we’ve already qualified by the time the final game comes along, but it’s still a worrying omen.
Heading to Greece for the final game of the season is certainly going to be tricky, and it’s really not ideal. It’s notoriously difficult to play away to Greek sides, as their crowds are aggressive and animated. The Greek league has even been threatened with suspension due to crowd violence recently, making the December trip there even more worrying.
Regardless of the crowd reaction though, if we perform the way we did today then we should certainly get the win. On our day we are capable of beating the best in the world, with our win over Bayern Munich earlier this season a testament to that.
When players like Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez are on form we are practically unplayable, so if we can ensure the talismanic duo are at their best then we have a fantastic chance of qualification. It’s all or nothing now, as we’ve at the very least qualified for the Europa League, and Thursday night football is not what we want this season. It would put a real dent in our Premier League title chances, which needs to be our focus this season.
It’s certainly going to be difficult, but with the players we have a 2-0 victory over Olympiacos is more than achievable.