Aston Villa

Aston Villa vs Olympiacos

, KO: 20:00 May 2, 2024, Villa Park

ASTON VILLA are within touching distance of UEFA Europa Conference League glory but face a tricky hurdle in their semi-final against a dangerous Olympiacos side.

Unai Emery's men have been favourites for the Conference League since pretty much the start of the tournament and are now just evens at Bet365 to lift the trophy.

But that's a bit disrespectful to the three other sides left in the competition, especially as Emery's side needed a late goal then penalties to see off Lille in the last eight.

Two bets came up for me in the second leg of that clash and Aston Villa were lucky to have penalty specialist Emiliano Martinez in goal. But he will miss the first leg of the semi-final through suspension and that will give Olympiacos plenty of encouragement.

The Greeks also needed a shoot-out to book their spot in the semi-finals, holding their nerve in an Istanbul cauldron to defeat Fenerbahce. But they have won six of their last nine in all competitions so that suggests they could cause Aston Villa  problems.

How the bookies view it: Villa the red-hot favourites

Aston Villa are 7/20 (Coral) to qualify and the price isn't much better for a first-leg win at 6/13 (VBet). The Greeks look a bit overpriced at 9/4 to reach the final (Bet365) and are as big as 13/2 (Bet365) for a win in England. The first-leg draw pays 15/4 (BetMGM).

Head-to-head: Step into the unknown for Villa

These sides have never faced off before and it's also Aston Villa's first European tie against a Greek side.

Players to watch: Watkins out to cement hero status

It's hard to look past Ollie Watkins for an Aston Villa goal, with the striker on 27 for the season. He's 6/5 with William Hill for anytime scorer and 5/4 at Bet365 for over 1.5 shots on target.

Ayoub El Kaabi is in even better form than Watkins, with the Moroccan netting 29 times for club and country this term. The Olympiacos talisman looks overpriced at 4/1 (Bet365) for a goal and is 21/10 (Paddy Power) to either score or assist.

Probable line-ups

Youri Tielemans is set to join the suspended Martinez on the sidelines for Aston Villa. Andreas Ndoj and Georgios Masouras serves bans for Olympiacos

Aston Villa: Olsen, Konsa, Carlos, Torres, Digne; Costa, McGinn, Rogers; Diaby, Watkins, Bailey

Olympiacos: Tzolakis, Ortega, Carmo, Rodinei, Retsos; Chiquinho, Fortounis, Horta, Hezze, Jovetic, El Kaabi.

Anything else catch the eye? Plenty of action at both ends

Going for goals paid off for our man Gabriel when Olympiacos played out a five-goal thriller with Fenerbache in the first leg of their quarter-final. Thrills have also been pretty much guaranteed with Aston Villa all season so this should be an open game. Combining BTTS and over 2.5 goals looks good at 13/10 with William Hill.

Olympiacos collected six yellows and a red in their last European outing so it's safe to say they like a tackle. Brazilian stopper Rodnei, who has five yellows and a red this term, is 23/10 at Paddy Power for over 1.5 fouls.

This match between Aston Villa and Olympiacos will be played on May 2, 2024 and kick off at 20:00. Check below for our tipsters best Aston Villa vs Olympiacos prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.

Aston Villa vs Olympiacos Betting Tips & Predictions
BTTS and over 2.5 goals
William Hill
Rodnei over 1.5 fouls
Ollie Watkins over 1.5 shots on target
Further Reading

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