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Olympiacos v Aston Villa: Tips, predictions & odds

Olympiacos beat Aston Villa 4-2 in the first leg of their Europa Conference League semi-final and they look a good bet to advance with a repeat victory on home soil on Thursday.

Villa will be searching for a response but they face a tricky test at the Karaiskakis Stadium in Athens where Olympiacos have won four of their last five European home games.

Olympiacos v Aston Villa

Olympiacos v Aston Villa Predictions

Olympiacos - draw no bet - 13/8

Olympiacos have never contested a major European final but they can create history by defeating Europa Conference League semi-final opponents Villa for a second time in eight days.

An enthralling end to the season is in the offing for the Red-Whites, who are chasing a domestic and European trophy double.

Jose Mendilibar's side need to win their next three league games to finish top of the Greek Super League but they face a much more straightforward task against Villa, who were vanquished 4-2 at Villa Park last Thursday.

Mendilibar got his tactics spot on in the first leg by urging his players to press high, allowing them to force a series of mistakes from an opposition uncomfortable with building from the back.

Villa were frequently exposed in defence and their miserable night was rounded off by an uncharacteristic penalty miss from Douglas Luiz in the 84th minute.

After such a chastening experience, Villa were looking for a reaction when they travelled to injury-hit Brighton last Sunday.

However, they struggled to get going on the south coast and were condemned to a 1-0 defeat when Joao Pedro struck the only goal of the game after his 87th minute penalty had been saved by Robin Olsen.

Unai Emery's side were devoid of energy against the Seagulls and could have no complaints about the outcome after losing the shot count 15 to two.

They remain hot favourites to stay above Tottenham in the race for a top four finish but their chances of a first continental trophy since their 1982 European Cup success are ebbing away.

Emery could do with freshening things up but his injury list increased at the weekend with Morgan Rogers suffering an apparent hamstring strain.

And, while Villa's squad is stretched, Olympiacos are looking spoilt for choice with midfielder Andreas Ndoj and winger Georgios Masouras back back in the frame after serving one-match bans.

Mendilibar needs to be mindful of his tactical approach and guard against the temptation to sit back on the two-goal advantage.

However, his natural instinct is to play an offensive style and his team are likely to advance with another entertaining victory.

Ayoub El Kaabi to score any time  – 21/10

Moroccan striker Ayoub El Kaabi was Olympiacos' hat-trick hero at Villa Park last Thursday and he looks an overpriced 21/10 wager to find the net in the return match.

El Kaabi has had an outstanding season, scoring 30 goals in all competitions and eight in the Europa Conference League, putting him joint-first in the scoring charts alongside Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Eran Zahavi.

El Kaabi's clever movement was too much for the Villans last Thursday and he should get plenty more opportunities against an opposition which has to take risks in search of a route back into the tie.

Over 3.5 goals - 5/4

Villa mustered just one shot on target in Sunday's 1-0 loss at Brighton but they should carry a greater threat in Athens and can contribute to a high-scoring outcome.

Emery's side have netted in 11 of 12 European matches this season and their ambition will be to score the first goal and see where it takes them.

However, Olympiacos have racked up 13 goals across their last four Europa Conference League matches and can add a few more in Athens, ensuring a profit for punters backing over 3.5 goals at 5/4.

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Olympiacos v Aston Villa odds

Olympiacos - 5/2
Draw -
Aston Villa -

View the full market and more odds for Olympiacos v Aston Villa on site

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This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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