Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Aston Villa vs Olympiacos predictions: Europa Conference League tips and odds

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Our betting expert has three Aston Villa vs Olympiacos tips for Thursday’s Europa Conference League semi-final, first leg at Villa Park (kick-off, 8pm). Scroll down for the analysis behind his selections.

Aston Villa vs Olympiacos betting tips

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Drama to continue for semi-final rivals

Villa and Olympiacos both came through their Europa Conference League quarter-final ties on penalties and both were involved in high-scoring league fixtures last weekend.

Over 3.5 goals looks a good bet when the teams meet at Villa Park – and it would have paid out in eight of Villa’s 11 home matches in all competitions in 2024.

They led Chelsea 2-0 at half-time on Saturday but the Blues fought back to earn a 2-2 draw and had an injury-time effort ruled out by VAR.

Olympiacos warmed up for their trip to Birmingham by beating Lamia 4-1 in the Greek Super League, with former Wolves forward Daniel Podence among the scorers.

They drew 3-3 on aggregate with Fenerbahce in the quarter-finals, winning the home leg 3-2 before progressing on penalties in Turkey after a 1-0 defeat.

Their round-of-16 tie had been even more dramatic as they overturned a 4-1 first-leg deficit against Maccabi Tel Aviv to go through 7-5 on aggregate after extra time, winning 6-1 in the ‘away’ leg, which was moved from Israel to Topola in Serbia.

Over 3.5 goals would have been a winning bet in four of the Greek side’s six Europa League group matches this season – they also beat West Ham 2-1 at home – and their defence may struggle to keep Villa’s classy forwards quiet on Thursday. 

Aston Villa vs Olympiacos tip 1: Over 3.5 goals @ 15/8 with BetMGM

Favour Fortounis in goalscorer market

Kostas Fortounis scored in the Europa League win over West Ham in October and the experienced Olympiacos forward is worth backing to find the net against another Premier League team here.

Fortounis was in the thick of the action in his side’s Europa League group-stage campaign, with five assists in six appearances.

His work is not entirely selfless, however, as he has scored in two of their previous three Conference League ties, finding the net in the 6-1 second-leg romp against Maccabi Tel Aviv and the 3-2 home win over Fenerbahce in the last eight.

Villa have kept only two clean sheets in their previous 13 home games in all competitions and Fortounis has had 17 attempts at goal in the Conference League – the same number as his more prolific team-mate Ayoub El Kaabi.

Aston Villa vs Olympiacos tip 2: Kostas Fortounis to score any time @ 21/4 with BetMGM

Clean sheet may elude Villa

Villa have won all six of their Europa Conference League home matches this season but three of the last four of those victories were by a 2-1 scoreline.

Backing Villa to win and both teams to score look like solid selections for a semi-final bet builder, as there have been goals at both ends in five of Olympiacos’s last six games.

The Greeks are far from solid in defence, conceding eight goals in their last four Conference League matches and 14 in six Europa League group fixtures this season.

While all eyes will be on Villa’s top scorer, Ollie Watkins, his young team-mate, Morgan Rogers, is a more tempting price to find the net.

Rogers finished as the leading goalscorer in this season’s EFL Cup, netting five times in five starts in his loan spell with Middlesbrough as they reached the semi-finals, and his last four Premier League appearances for Villa have yielded goals against Brentford, Bournemouth and Chelsea.

Aston Villa vs Olympiacos tip 3: Bet builder – Villa to win, both teams to score and Morgan Rogers to score @ 23/4 with BetMGM

Aston Villa vs Olympiacos odds

Odds, correct at the time of publication, are subject to change.

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