Olympiakos can finish the job at Burnley
Europa League qualification looks out of reach for Sean Dyche
Europa League playoff, second leg
BT Sport 2, 7.45pm Thursday
The Thursday-Sunday fixture schedule has sorely tested better clubs than Burnley in recent years but it’s a conundrum that should no longer be giving Sean Dyche sleepless nights after this week.
Trailing Olympiakos 3-1 from the first leg of their Europa League playoff tie, the Clarets look to have left themselves far too much to do against a very decent Greek outfit.
Without a competitive win since April, Burnley have conceded ten goals in their last three matches and were totally outplayed in the first leg in Greece.
Olympiakos boasted almost 70 per cent of possession at home, attacking at will, while Burnley barely registered any chances of note. Pedro Martins’s men will probably be disappointed not to have put the tie to bed.
Clearly home advantage was a massive plus – the atmosphere in Piraeus was one few of the Burnley side would have witnessed in club football – but Olympiakos are decent travellers.
They won 3-1 at Luzern in the previous round and at the very least can avoid defeat at Turf Moor. They may also strike gold on the counter as Burnley inevitably have to throw bodies forward.
Olympiakos have played four, won four this season – including that 7-1 aggregate hammering of Luzern – while Dyche is sure to have one eye at least on Sunday’s crunch Premier League clash with Manchester United especially as his squad isn’t the deepest.
Olympiakos draw no bet
1pt 11-10 general
Ben Gibson, sent off in the first leg, is suspended while Johann Berg Gudmundsson has picked up a hamstring injury. Steven Defour and Jonathan Walters are still out and Robbie Brady is unlikely to be risked.
New signing Koka, on loan from Braga, is set for a first start. Another new addition, midfielder Guilherme from Deportivo La Coruna, should make the bench.
Burnley are without a 90-minute win in their last 13 competitive matches
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