Champions League Wednesday predictions: Olympiacos in action
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Aidan Perkins
Spotlight
Olympiacos won the Greek title by 19 points last season and Pedro Martins' side can make a winning start in Europe
Olympiacos won the Greek title by 19 points last season and Pedro Martins' side can make a winning start in Europe

There are five more first-leg ties in the second qualifying round of the Champions League on Wednesday, including Greek champions Olympiacos taking on Israeli champions Maccabi Haifa. 

Turkish giants Fenerbahce are also in action against Ukrainian side Dynamo Kyiv in Poland and Hungarian champions Ferencvaros host Slovakian side Slovan Bratislava. 

With a third qualifying round and play-off round still to come after this stage in Europe's top club competition, there is still a long way to go before teams can begin to think about a spot in the group stage, but there are plenty of well-known clubs in action in midweek. 

Maccabi Haifa vs Olympiacos (Wednesday, 6pm BST)

Olympiacos are Champions League group-stage regulars, having made it that far in three of the last five years and they will be aiming to start their European campaign this year with an away win in Israel. 

Maccabi have only made it as far as the group stage twice in their history, most recently in 2009, and were knocked out in the first qualifying round by Kazakhstan side Kairat last year. 

The stats

Olympiacos cruised to the Greek title in 2021-2022, finishing 19 points clear of PAOK, and they have been preparing for this tie with several friendlies, making full use of their squad over the past three-and-a-half weeks, with their most recent outing a 2-1 defeat against Aris last Monday. 

Maccabi won their domestic title for the second year in a row when they topped the table by eight points from Hapoel Be'er Sheva in May.

However, they have not looked great in the build-up to their European opener, losing two friendlies, both 1-0, to Mechelen and Vitesse before an Israeli Super Cup final defeat on penalties to Hapoel Be'er Sheva over the weekend. 

Prediction

Olympiacos are well versed at negotiating these early Champions League qualifiers and should secure a narrow away win in the first leg, even if their form in their warm-up matches has left a little to be desired. 

Dynamo Kyiv vs Fenerbahce (Wednesday, 7pm BST)

Due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, this tie is being played in Lodz in Poland and Dynamo, who finished second domestically last term, face a difficult task over two legs against the side who finished second in the Turkish Super Lig. 

The Kyiv outfit have been knocked out of the Champions League at the group stage in the past two seasons while Fener are playing their first match in the competition since going out in the third qualifying round to Benfica four years ago. 

The stats

It is difficult to assess Dynamo's level coming into the tie after recent friendly defeats to Lyon and Antwerp, whereas Fener have impressed under new coach Jorge Jesus.

The Turkish side have won five friendlies in a row against Tiranda, Al Shamal, Partizan, Fehervar and Hull, who they beat 2-0 at the weekend. 

Prediction

Jorge Jesus' Fenerbahce have won five of their six warm-up matches
Jorge Jesus' Fenerbahce have won five of their six warm-up matches

Fenerbahce's fine form in their friendlies cannot be ignored. 

They have won five of their six warm-up matches and drawn the other over the past month with an aggregate scoreline of 16-4 in their favour. 

Therefore, Jesus' side should manage a first-leg victory without too many issues and a win to nil is a distinct possibility. 

Ferencvaros vs Slovan Bratislava (Wednesday, 7pm BST)

Hungarian champions Ferencvaros have only made the Champions League group stage twice in their history and were knocked out at the play-off round last season when losing to Young Boys. 

Slovan Bratislava have never appeared in the group stages of the competition and were also beaten by Swiss side Young Boys in qualifying last year, going down 3-2 on aggregate in the second qualifying round. 

The stats

Ferencvaros saw off Kazakhstan side FC Tobol 5-1 in the previous qualifying round, while Slovan edged out Dinamo Batumi 2-1 over two legs. 

However, that is the Slovakian champions' only win in five matches and they were beaten 2-1 by Podbrezova in their first game of the new Slovak Super Liga campaign at the weekend. 

Ferencvaros won three of their five June friendlies and they have plenty of threat in the final third in the shape of Adama Traore and Fortune Bassey, who both scored twice against Tobol. 

Prediction

Ferencvaros had far too much for Tobol at home in the previous round and they should comfortably come out on top again, especially as Slovan head into the first leg on the back of a disappointing opening league defeat.

Tags

OlympiacosChampions LeagueFenerbahceDynamo KyivMaccabi HaifaFerencvarosSlovan Bratislava
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