Olympiacos vs Fiorentina. Prediction and Preview. Probable Lineups, Team News, Stats, and more

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Olympiacos stand on the brink of their first Euro trophy triumph, while Fiorentina, eager to avenge last year’s near miss

Olympiacos FC will host ACF Fiorentina in the UEFA Europa Conference League final match at the OPAP Arena Stadium. The fixture will take place on Thursday, May 30, beginning at 00:30 IST.

Parimatch News will tell you everything you need to know ahead of the upcoming match.

Olympiacos News & Current Form: 

The team under the Spanish coach, Jose Luis Mendilibar, is having a historic season. In the Greek Super League, Olympiacos performed far worse than their fans had anticipated, finishing only in third place behind PAOK FC and AEK FC. However, on the continental stage, the Red and Whites have been outstanding. For the first time in the club’s history, the team has reached the final of a European cup, albeit the third-tier and recently established UEFA tournament.

Not only will the Conference League final take place in Greece, but it will also be hosted in Athens. While Piraeus is technically a separate city, its border with Athens is now practically only administrative, with no residential-free zones between the two cities. The distance from the farthest part of Piraeus to the OPAP Arena, where the final will be played, is approximately 20 kilometres. Incidentally, there were considerations to move the final to Hungary due to anticipated local policing issues, but ultimately, no relocation occurred.

Olympiacos have been Greek champions 47 times but had never previously reached a European cup final. Greek teams, in general, haven’t been particularly successful on the international stage. None have made it to the finals of the aforementioned tournaments, and the only club to come close to winning the European Cup was Panathinaikos FC, who lost 2:0 to AFC Ajax in the 1971 final.

On their way to the decisive match of the UECL, which will be played on home soil, Olympiacos first overcame the obstacle of Hungarian Ferencvárosi TC (1:0, 1:0), who were their third opponent in the UEFA Europa League group stage where the Greek began their continental journey.

Then, in the Round of 16, they dramatically defeated Maccabi Tel Aviv FC (after a 1:4 home loss, they secured a spectacular 6:1 victory in the return leg), followed by Turkish Fenerbahce SK (3:2, 1:1), and in the semi-final, they sensationally knocked out the tournament favourites, English Aston Villa FC, who finished 4th in the English Premier League. Mendilibar’s team defeated the side of Unai Emery in both legs – 4:2 in Birmingham and 2:0 at home.

In the final rounds of the Greek Championship, Olympiacos lost to PAOK, defeated AEK (2:0), and drew with Panathinaikos (2:2). The last match was full of exciting moments, unexpected turns, and intense emotions that kept spectators on edge until the very end.

The first goal was scored in the fifth minute of added time in the first half when Anastasios Bakasetas converted a penalty. In the second half, the battle on the field intensified further. In the 59th minute, Bernard put Panathinaikos ahead again, netting the ball after a quick counter-attack. However, Olympiacos were not willing to give up, and in the 73rd minute, Daniel Podence pulled one back, demonstrating excellent skill and composure. Then, in the 81st minute, much to the hosts’ dismay, Stevan Jovetic equalized.

The match ended in a 2:2 draw, leaving fans of both teams thrilled and eager for future encounters. Both clubs showcased a high level of skill and fighting spirit, promising even more thrilling matches ahead.

Top scorer of UEFA Europa Conference League – Ayoub El Kaabi of Olympiacos FC with 10 goals to his name

As they approach the Conference League final, Olympiacos are almost at full strength. The only player definitively ruled out for Thursday is defender Giulian Biancone. There have been health concerns for his fellow defender Francisco Ortega, but the Argentine seems to have a chance to recover and be included in the squad.

Ayoub El Kaabi has been in excellent form, scoring ten goals in the last month and a half. He is expected to make a significant impact in the decisive match, being a player of character and skill. Considering only the main stages of the Eurocup (the group stage and the play-offs), the Moroccan is currently the tournament’s top scorer with ten goals and two assists.

Right-back of the Greek team, Rodinei, echoed his coach’s sentiments about the importance of maintaining their usual preparation routines for the final:

“It’s true that the competition you mentioned is difficult, and it’s a final that requires good preparation. However, I agree with my coach, we don’t need to change anything. What we need is calm, to focus on our training, and to do our job. There’s no need to change anything; we must stay focused on our work and prepare calmly. We know it’s a historic moment, but we don’t need to think about that. Instead, we should focus on preparing well for the match.”

“I can’t single out any moment because every time I put on the Olympiacos jersey and step onto the field, it has special significance for me, and it is something unique. We want to win every game. What I can say now is that we have another battle ahead of us, and we will prepare as best as we can to be ready for the final.”

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Fiorentina News & Current Form: 

Fiorentina approached the start of the season as a clear contender for a UEFA Champions League spot – their squad was strong enough to justify such ambitious goals. In the first half of the season, the team under Vincenzo Italiano lived up to this status, making it into the top five several times. However, as in recent years, the Italians lacked consistency.

In the second half of the championship, the team fought desperately on three fronts and ultimately did not have enough strength for all the tournaments. With one match in hand, the Violas occupy eighth place in the table, four points ahead of both Torino FC and Napoli. Fiorentina are an attractive team to watch, modern, pressing, and excellent on the counter-attack. However, they have issues, particularly in defence, conceding many goals. In their last 10 matches, the players have been unable to keep a clean sheet.

Riccardo Sottil is set to miss the decisive match of UECL due to an injury

The Tuscans have recently been in good form: in their last six matches, Vincenzo Italiano’s men have suffered only one defeat, won three times, and drawn twice. After beating AC Monza 2:1, the White and Violets drew 2:2 with SSC Napoli in mid-May. The goal of Amir Rrahmani was answered by accurate strikes from Cristiano Biraghi and M’bala Nzola in the first half, but in the 57th minute, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia restored parity on the scoreboard.

The Violas’ most recent match ended in a victory, as they defeated Cagliari Calcio away (3:2). In Serie A, the team have one more match to play, the rescheduled fixture of the 29th round against Atalanta BC. Interestingly, if the Italians win the Conference League, nine teams will represent the country in European competitions next season.

Under the guidance of their coach, Vincenzo Italiano, the team has accustomed their fans to good results, especially in European competitions. Fiorentina have reached the final of the UECL for the second year in a row and will once again attempt to win the title. Last season, the Italians reached the final of the tournament, dramatically losing to English side West Ham United FC (1:2). Interestingly, Fiorentina were not originally supposed to be in European competitions this season, but they took the place of Juventus FC, who were disqualified for one season. 

On their way to the final, Italiano’s men have not suffered a single defeat since late August. However, all their knockout stage matches were won either by a one-goal margin or in extra time, indicating that the battles were hard-fought every time.

After confidently progressing through the group stage, Fiorentina then successively eliminated Maccabi Haifa FC (4:3, 1:1), Czech side FC Viktoria Plzeň (0:0, 2:0), and Belgian Club Brugge KV in the semi-finals. The Florence club defeated their opponent at home (3:2), and the return match in Belgium ended in a draw (1:1).

Heading into the decisive battle for the third-tier European trophy, Vincenzo Italiano has just one significant loss – forward Riccardo Sottil, who injured his back in the semi-final against Brugge and has ended his season prematurely.

Olympiacos form guide: W-W-W-L-W-D

Fiorentina form guide: W-L-D-W-D-W

Olympiacos vs Fiorentina Predicted XI:

Olympiacos’s possible starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Tzolakis; Rodinei, Retsos, Carmo, Quini; Hezze, Iborra; Fortounis, Chiquinho, Podence; El Kaabi.

Fiorentina’s possible starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Terracciano; Dodo, Milenkovic, Martinez Quarta, Biraghi; Arthur, Mandragora; Gonzalez, Beltran, Kouame; Nzola.

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Statistical preview of the match Olympiacos vs Fiorentina:

  • Olympiacos’ First XI average age is 27.2 years, and Fiorentina’s First XI average age is 28.9 years.
  • The total value of the Greek squad is 109 mln euros, while the total of the Italian side comes up to 248 mln euros.
  • Artur Soares Dias has been appointed as the centre referee. The match official has already served 18 games this season, showing an average of 4.3 yellow cards and also whistles 25 fouls per game. 
  • In the last 5 games, Fiorentina conceded an average of 1.60 goals per game and scored an average of 1.80 goals per game.
  • In the last 5 games, Olympiacos conceded an average of 1.20 goals per game and scored an average of 2.00 goals per game.
  • Olympiacos have scored at least 2 goals in 4 of their last 5 Conference League matches.
  • Fiorentina have not lost in 13 consecutive Conference League matches this season (7 wins, 6 draws).
  • Olympiacos and Fiorentina have not met before.
  • Olympiacos can win a UEFA club tournament for the first time in history.
  • Fiorentina can win the UEFA club competition for the second time. The team won the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1961. 
  • Fiorentina reached the Conference League final for the second year in a row. Last season in the final the Violas lost to West Ham (1:2). 
  • This season the Greek Super League team Olympiacos played 35 matches, achieving the following results: 23 wins, 8 losses, 4 draws. The team shows stability, scoring an average of 2.2 goals per game and conceding 0.9 goals.

What has been said before the match:

José Luis Mendilibar, coach of the Greek squad, emphasized the importance of maintaining their identity and staying true to their preparation methods as they approach the final:

“We are calm and well. We rested for two days and now we are back. We continue to work calmly and want to prepare as best as possible for the final. We got here by maintaining our identity. If we change our identity, we won’t be ourselves. We follow the same things, the same process, as we do in every preparation for any match.”

“Everyone has a team they consider a favourite in their mind; in a final, there are many opinions. When two teams reach the final, it’s because they deserve it. The same goes for Atalanta and Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Leverkusen was unbeaten, but in finals, anything can happen. Bayer had not faced a team like Atalanta until now.”

“In a final, teams must be ready to face everything. In the Europa final, Atalanta took advantage of their opportunities and won. If you don’t seize your moments, things will be different in such a game.”

“Of course, the fact that we eliminated such Aston should give us strength. But in the final, anything can happen. When you have eliminated Aston Villa, it makes you believe you can beat anyone. With all due respect to Fiorentina, we have also eliminated other teams like Fenerbahçe, which was a difficult case. All these qualifications make us feel strong and help us take advantage of all these moments to go into the final with the right mentality, the one that has brought us here.”

Gaffer of the Violas, Vincenzo Italiano, expressed immense pride in his team for reaching another final, marking a significant achievement after two consecutive years in European competition:

“We are proud to have reached another final. We played for two years in Europe, and twice we reached the final. It is a joy and the result of three years of hard work. Last year we had a great run, even if the finish was not so good. This year we repeated it, it wasn’t easy. We will try to do our best in the final because Fiorentina hasn’t won a trophy for so many years.”

“We have another opportunity and this time we will try to prepare as well as possible. I hope that our efforts, our hard work, and all the attention to detail we put into this competition will bring us the icing on the cake.”

“We will face a tough opponent. If you can win a semi-final, winning the first leg and the return leg with Aston Villa, it means you are strong.  For them it will be like playing at home, even though it is not their stadium, but they will still be playing in their city. I think that we will have to increase our focus.”

“Once you get on the pitch, then when the referee whistles for the start of the game, everything else takes second place. We’ll just have to concentrate on beating an opponent that I think has quality, ability and we’ll try, as always, to get the best out of them.”

Olympiacos vs Fiorentina Prediction:

Fiorentina have developed a special knack for elimination matches and have been producing good performances in them for the last couple of years, which is why they are going far down the play-off bracket in the Italian Cup and have reached the final of the UEFA Conference League for the second year in a row. A year earlier, the Florentines lost to West Ham, but they have accumulated precious experience that should help them succeed now. Granted, the opposition will be big-name Olympiakos, for whom this final will be a home one as it will take place in Greece, and the Europa League winning coach is a big argument in their favour, but still, the Violets, who have the practice against strong opposition in Serie A, are superior in class and are more hardened cup fighters. Fiorentina is a modern team that likes to play aggressively in pressing, also being excellent in counter-attacking. However, recently there have been issues in defence. In the last 10 matches, Fiorentina has failed to secure a clean sheet. 

The play will be starting with caution. Both sides realise that the opponents are good on the counterattack and will not attack with great force. However, the game will open up sooner or later, as both teams are bold and active. They rarely leave the field without scoring goals. It is unlikely that the tally will be too high, but the teams are expected to score at least once each. And if there is a draw by the 70th minute, which is likely, the teams will avoid taking risks in the end, so the probability of a draw is high. 

Parimatch News staff prediction:

We say: Fiorentina will not lose in the regular time, and the match total will be less than 4.5 – Yes.

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