Astana vs Olympiacos Europa League Preview

Astana vs Olympiacos Europa League Preview

Astana vs Olympiacos on matchday 4 of Group B in the Europa League, has become a must-win game for the Kazakhstan-based side, as Astana are still looking for their first win in the group stage. Olympiacos are in a more comfortable situation, as they are second in the Group with six points.

In fact, Olympiacos are even on points with the Cypriote side APOEL, who are first in the standings thanks to a 1-0 victory over Olympiacos on matchday 2. On third place with four points are the Swiss side Young Boys Bern.

Astana, meanwhile, are fourth, with just one point—a 0-0 draw against Young Boys in Astana. In fact, Astana are at their best when playing at home, as the long trip to Kazakhstan, as well as the time difference, makes it extremely difficult for teams to travel to what is geographically Central Asia.

Before the season Futbolgrad predicted that Astana would finish third in the group, but with Astana’s heavy 4-1 defeat by Olympiacos on matchday 3, finishing third is now in jeopardy. There is, however, hope in Kazakhstan’s capital that Astana could achieve a better result when the fixture moves to the Kazakh steppe on Thursday.

The tone will be further upbeat, as Astana celebrated a third successive Kazakh Premier League title on October 26 with a 0-0 result against Okzheptes. The season then concluded on October 29 when Astana drew Irtysh 0-0. With the Kazakh league season running from spring to fall within the calendar year, the three remaining group stage matches in the Europa League will be Astana’s last competitive fixtures of the season.

Astana’s Bulgarian head coach, Stanimir Stoilov, has somewhat rested his first eleven on matchday 32 of the Kazakh Premier League, and his squad should therefore be in good shape when they face Olympiacos at the Astana Arena on Thursday, especially given the fact that they have been close to unbeatable when playing at home.

Further down the road, it will be interesting to see how Astana copes with the long breaks between Europa League matches, as they might suffer somewhat from the interrupted game rhythm.

Futbolgrad’s Prediction: Astana vs Olympiacos 1-1

Possible Line-ups


Formation: 4-2-3-1

Eric – Beysebekov, Anicic, Lobvinenko, Engel – Maksimovic, Canas – Kabananga, Nurgaliyev, Twumasi – Despotovic

Manager: Stanimir Stoilov


Formation: 4-2-3-1

Kapino – Retsos, Botia, da Costa, Figueiras – Milivojević, Martins – Sebá, Marin, Elyounoussi – Ideye

Manager: Paulo Bento

By Manuel Veth –