Villa – Olympiacos; Our first European semi since 1982

The Intertoto cup that we won in 2001 obviously doesn’t count then, even though it was administered by the same Uefa that administers all the current European competitions.
Just like football didn’t exist before the Premier league, nor did any older competitions that aren’t current, obviously.
I wonder how the dark side feels now their Fairs cup is being obliterated from history in a similar way?
They’re probably not as concerned as they are about their impending final game against Norwich on Saturday. Not that I’m too bothered. I just thought I’d throw it in, in case anyone doesn’t know the predicament they’re in and might fancy a bit of a laugh.

Anyway, I haven’t really said much about our Conference league exploits because I’m simply not knowledgeable enough about European football. I’ll watch it occasionally for a big game, as I did last night, but generally I don’t bother and am loathe to talk about European teams for fear of making myself look a mug, which in fairness, is already not too difficult.

And the same is true of Olympiacos. Except I do know one thing about them. I’m not really inclined to call the Greek league a joke, but the reality is there are a couple of Greek teams that very often feature in the Champion’s league and tonight’s opponents are one of them.
I’m quite surprised they never achieved qualification for this year’s competition, but they did make the Europa league, only to be relegated to face us.
Which all in all makes them tough opponents.

Squad news and the big one is that Martinez is suspended for receiving three yellows. Anyone else think is timewasting is becoming a bit tedious and more costly to the team than playing the game and not getting suspended?
Whatever it’s okay, because Olsen will replace him, which is fine because according to Unai “the team trust him and believe in him”.
Hmm, colour me not in the slightest bit convinced about that, but I’ll go with it. Not that there’s any choice. In fairness, his hamstring issue might have kept Emi out anyway and if that’s still affecting him, the rest can only help, you would think.
Tielemens and Moreno are out, but Zaniolo might be available, which is a good thing, because I feel he’s better suited to a more European game at this stage of his Villa career. If he stays with us, that is.

Olympiacos don’t seem to be in too bad shape regading injureis from what I can see, but defender Andrea Ntoi and midfielder Giorgos Masouras are both suspended for tonight’s first leg.

Thoughts then and it’s difficult, isn’t it?
As per, I’m predicting nothing, but the truth is over 2 legs, I’m not feeling confident. There’s no reason for it at all, other than just a hunch. I was chatting to a Manc who likes a bet and I said that if anything, I’d put my money on a draw for tonight.

Ultimately, I just think a lot depends on which Villa turn up. If we play well and our defence can keep it together, we’re more than capable of winning. And we do seem to be dveloping a bit of a knack of not losing, even when not playing well.
Here’s to nervously hoping. We need to take advantage of being at home ffor this leg.



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  1. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum May 5, 2024 at 9:26 am . Reply

    OMG. How the hell was that penalty given against Bournemouth? Utter dive!!!!!

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