By 90Min
August 22, 2018

Burnley's European adventure continues this Thursday when they travel to Greece to face Olympiacos in the first leg of their Europa League play-off tie.

The Clarets' fans would've been in dreamland when they knocked out Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir in the previous round, however a win for Burnley will take them one step closer to the group stages of the competition.

Alex Livesey/GettyImages

Olympiacos have been labelled as favourites to progress from this round and into the main competition, although Burnley have already proven they are capable of an upset and will be looking to deliver once again on the big stage.

Here is a preview of their clash on Thursday evening.

Recent Form

They finished third in the Greek Super League last season and won both legs of their previous Europa League tie comfortably, however that's all Burnley will have to go by in terms of preparing for their opposition.

As for Sean Dyche's men, they've had plenty of match practice in the build up to this game, however have made a slow start to their Premier League season. After a goalless draw against Southampton on the opening day, Burnley lost 3-1 at home to Watford last weekend and will not be high on confidence heading into the game.
Burnley v Istanbul Basaksehir - UEFA Europa League Third Round Qualifier: Second Leg

Burnley did travel to Istanbul for the first leg of their previous Europa League tie and were able to hold the home side to a goalless draw heading into the second leg at Turf More, and Clarets fans will happily take the same scoreline this time around.

Path To This Round

Having received a bye into the third round, Olympiacos got their qualifying campaign off to a flying start. 

They defeated Swiss side FC Luzern 4-0 at home in the first leg before travelling to Switzerland and winning 3-1 in the second leg to secure a 7-1 aggregate win. They'll be looking to carry their good form into Thursday night and take a win into the second leg in England.
PSV v Olympiakos Piraeus - Club Friendly

Burnley's qualification campaign started earlier, having finished seventh in the Premier League last season. They faced Scottish side Aberdeen in the second round and took a 1-1 scoreline into the second leg having drawn the the first game. At Turf Moor, the sides couldn't be separated in normal time with Burnley emerging 3-1 victors after extra time.

Their third round tie against Basaksehir was a lot tighter, having finished 0-0 in both the first leg and normal time in the second leg. A goal from Jack Cork in the first half of extra time was enough to send the Clarets through and they will now face Olympiacos for a place in the Europa League group stage.

Team News

The home side have no noted injuries heading into the tie, however will have plenty of players to watch out for. In particular, striker Miguel Angel Guerrero scored three goals in the two legs of their previous round - which included a brace in the first leg - and will be heading into the tie on hot form. 
Burnley FC v Watford FC - Premier League

With plenty of experience all over the park, Olympiacos will be confident they can get the job done ahead of Thursday's game.

As for the visitors, they will still be without Nick Pope who continues to recover from a dislocated shoulder - which means Joe Hart is likely to keep his place between the sticks. 

Robbie Brady continues to recover from a hamstring injury which means he will also miss out, whilst new signing Matej Vydra is in contention to start having been registered in time for the competition.

Burnley FC v Watford FC - Premier League

Potential Olympiacos Starting Lineup: Gianniotis; Elabdellaoui, Miranda, Vukovic, Tsimikas; Bouchalakis, Camara; Christodoulopoulos, Fortounis, Podence; Guerrero.

Potential Burnley Starting Lineup: Hart; Lowton, Mee, Tarkowski, Ward; Lennon, Westwood, Cork, Gudmundsson, Hendrick; Wood.


As previously mentioned, Olympiacos head into the tie as favourites to progress into the Europa League group stages. They're known to dominate possession whilst keeping their opposition pinned in their own half, and the fact they will have home advantage for this first leg clash will be a huge boost for them.

However, we shouldn't write Burnley off just yet. They've already proven they can hold out for a result having held Basaksehir away from home to a draw, and will be looking to do the same this time around. 
Burnley FC v Watford FC - Premier League

In their four qualifying games so far, Dyche's men have only managed to score two goals in normal time and I believe Burnley will be happy to take a point into the second leg and will not look to venture forward too often. However, I believe Olympiacos will have enough quality to find a goal and will take a lead to Turf More.

Prediction: Olympiacos 1-0 Burnley

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