March 2, 2021

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Europa League Draw Breakdown and Instant Reactions

by Zack Lambert (@bigbird8224)
December 14th, 2020

Riegler & Zechmeister Pellets Wolfsberger Athletik Club vs Tottenham Hotspur Football Club

Wolfsberger (Austria)

Title Odds: +30000

League Place: 7th

Wolfsberger holds one of the lowest odds in the tournament to come out as champions and it’s a fair assessment. The club are actually in the relegation battle domestically and they’ll probably get out of it, but needing to dedicate their best form to that competition will likely see the team make an early exit in the Europa League. The club were lucky to find Feyenoord and CSKA Moscow in poor form to finish second in their group behind Zagreb. Wolfsberger’s attack is decent but the defense has looked like an open floodgate this season, being dominated in all competitions.

Tottenham Hotspur (England)

Title Odds: +500

League Place: 1st

Spurs are one of the biggest names in this competition and are favorites by a sizable gap to win the title. The London club had to go through qualification to make it this far but their form here and domestically prove they’re worthy of this competition and probably the one above it as well. Spurs are the top club in England right now and the tandem of Son and Kane rivals Müller and Lewandowski for being best in the world. Spurs blew through their group with little trouble but did lose some points when they fielded a youth team. Right now Spurs should be favorites and I expect to see them in the semifinals at least.

Head-to-Head Prediction

This was probably the best possible situation for Tottenham considering the quality of Wolfsberger. English clubs don’t have the break that most other countries allow their footballers during the change of the year and that makes for a particularly grueling stretch of football coming into spring. An opportunity to rest some of the first team and still find favorable results while the Premier League isa possibility for Spurs makes this a best case scenario, especially with travel not being too bad. Spurs will advance easily.

Football Club Dynamo Kyiv vs Club Brugge Koninklijke Voetbalvereniging

Dynamo Kyiv (Ukraine)

Title Odds: +4000

League Place: 1st

Those who are Juventus or Barcelona fans or just fans of football will recognize the name of Dynamo Kyiv, one of the two Ukranian football powerhouses. This season both are in the Europa League, Kyiv’s path leading them though a group in which they never had a chance, headed by the aforementioned titans of football. Their only points came from the Hungarian side Ferencvárosi. The club is chippy and borders on the edge of playing dirty, but their talent is undeniable, especially that of Ukranian national Viktor Tsygankov. The club scores in bunches and though the defense can be porous or shorthanded via cards, they’re a dangerous side who can better most in the competition.

Club Brugge (Belgium)

Title Odds: +4000

League Place: 1st

Club Brugge are a Belgian club who challenged Lazio and Dortmund in this year’s Champions League group stage but ultimately fell short on the final day, drawing with the Romans. Brugge are one of the better clubs in the competition not from the five largest leagues and thrive in all thirds of the pitch. The central defenders are traditional tackling powers and the fullbacks are quality defenders with good abilities assisting in the attack. The midfield has players for every formation and situation and the forwards are classic goal scoring attackers. Hans Vanaken and Ruud Vormer are barnstorming pacemakers from the midfield and should help Brugge advance a few rounds with some luck.

Head-to-Head Prediction

This was a tough draw for both clubs. This is the only pairing of teams that were both in the Champions League and it should be a blessing for the fans. Brugge and Kyiv are both very good sides who can win big football games and the atmosphere, assuming we have fans, should be fantastic for the fixtures. It’s not a Champions League match but these two clubs will provide fireworks regardless. Club Brugge will edge the Ukrainians in an extremely close match.

Real Sociedad de Fútbol, S.A.D. vs Manchester United Football Club

Real Sociedad (Spain)

Title Odds: +2500

League Place: 1st

One of the best teams in Spanish football this season has been Real Sociedad, a club predicated on consistency and very strong attacking play from the midfield. The club aren’t the most prolific, but their trio of Oyarzabal, Merino, and David Silva are the envy of many clubs around the continent. The club had one of the tougher assignments in their group being paired with Napoli so they understandably finished second, but they’re not going to be a pushover for any side. They’ve fallen back to earth a bit from their mercurial start to the season but this is a club that’s very capable of winning the competition.

Manchester United (England)

Title Odds: +600

League Place: 8th

If you’re familiar with football you ought to be familiar with Manchester United, one of biggest clubs on the planet and probably the largest sports brand period. The club find themselves down in the Europa League thanks to a massive collapse in the second half of their Champions League campaign, losing three of their last four games to be outdone by RB Leipzig and PSG. United’s talent to choose from is undeniable, often leaving over 100 million pounds worth of players on the bench, but their performances have not matched their payroll yet. Turmoil surrounds the club for their inconsistent play on defense, their lack of offense without Bruno Fernandes, and their poor coaching and team selection.

Head-to-Head Prediction

Were I Ole Gunnar Solskjær I would be sweating through my three piece suit when I saw that I drew Real Sociedad. Of all the clubs United could have drawn I would place Sociedad as the toughest both in general and in particular against the Red Devils. Their individual skill is outstanding, there’s a really talented offense that can beat a shaky back line, and the Sociedad have one of the few midfields in the competition that might stack up with that of United’s. I could look like a fool for this but I see Real Sociedad moving on to the Round of 16.

Sport Lisboa e Benfica ComC MHIH OM vs Arsenal Football Club

Benfica (Portugal)

Title Odds: +2000

League Place: 2nd

On paper, Benfica are the club to beat in Portugal, though if titles were decided on paper football would be much less popular of a sport. Benfica managed to make their way through their Europa League group with minor problems, though the added workload from the competition held down their performances in both leagues. The club have dropped two games in the Primeira Liga despite being favored in both and dropping points in the Europa League, missing a chance to top Rangers and the group. Benfica aren’t an overtly aggressive club, playing a methodical form of possession football while operating a good offside trap with pacey center backs on defense.

Arsenal (England)

Title Odds: +700

League Place: 15th

Arsenal are one of the biggest brands in football, though accolades earned by teams before you can’t buoy your own poor efforts. Arsenal moved cleanly through their Europa League group, earning all 18 points available, but are falling to pieces in the Premier League. The club are inept in the attacking third where chances are few and conversions are fewer. The Gunners seem to have made some sensible moves in the offseason, adding Gabriel, their top defender, Thomas Partey, their best midfielder, and keeping Mo Elneny, but the lack of conviction moving forward negates all of their efforts.

Head-to-Head Prediction

Arsenal, like their rivals Manchester United, will not be happy with their draw to Benfica. I’ve stated a couple of times this season that Benfica are the best club in Portugal and while that alone isn’t worth much, they have all the right tools to beat Arsenal. Their defensive record is decent and Arsenal is incapable of scoring right now and Arsenal’s defense will struggle to keep the dynamic offense out of the net. Yes, Arsenal could have an entirely new look by the time these fixtures roll around but there will be a struggle to come out on top. Arsenal will likely prevail but not without their fans needing a blood pressure prescription.

Fudbalski klub Crvena zvezda vs Associazione Calcio Milan

Crvena zvezda (Serbia)

Title Odds: +25000

League Place: 1st

Better known around the world by their English name, Red Star Belgrade, the lone Serbian club in the competition has plenty of history, even winning a Champions League back in 1991. The club have surged to a massive lead again in the Serbian SuperLiga and own a goal differential of 43, allowing only seven goals in 18 matches. The competition was a bit stiffer in the Europa League group but Zvezda prevailed with 13 points, second behind Hoffenheim. A high powered offense propels the club forward and their defensive record in Serbia is evidence of their potential at the other end of the pitch as well.

AC Milan (Italy)

Title Odds: +1100

League Place: 1st

Few clubs on the planet have started this season as well as AC Milan have, not losing a game in their league while generally dominating their group in the Europa League, not an easy task with the teams who inhabited it. The club only lost to Lille this season and with no real indications that they’re ready to start dropping points again, I’m surprised their odds are so low to win the competition. With players like Zlatan, Theo, Kessié, and Donnarumma heading the team I have them pegged much higher.

Head-to-Head Prediction

With all respect to Red Star and the full awareness that the form of AC Milan could change between now and two months from now, this won’t be much of a competition. Hopefully Red Star can safely have a packed house once their home fixture rolls around because they can put on a wild show, but Milan is head and shoulders clear of the Serbian club. The Italians can already book themselves busy for the Round of 16.

Royal Antwerp Football Club vs Rangers Football Club

Antwerp (Belgium)

Title Odds: +2500

League Place: 7th

The Belgian side play their football in a very underrated Juliper Pro League that harbors some of the most underrated clubs in football, sides like Club Brugge, Genk, Anderlecht, and Gent. Antwerp beat out Ludogorets and and LASK to advance to the Round of 32 and use a strong, experienced attack to score while a group of defenders coming into their prime provide help on bith ends of the pitch. An attacking mindset has opened the Antwerp defense up to chances that will prove deadly against the better clubs in this competition.

Rangers (Scotland)

Title Odds: +4000

League Place: 1st

Rangers are the lone Scottish team left in European football as Celtic were bounced from the Europa League after a terrible showing, something their old rivals will revel in. Rangers were the top team in their group with 14 points, impressively beating out a good Benfica team. Few teams in Europe are playing better football than the Glasgow side who are being led by the Englishman James Tavernier who is on 11 goals and eight assists from right back. The Scotsmen are running away with the Premiership and are undervalued where the sportsbooks have them ranked right now. This team could make a run deep in the tournament.

Head-to-Head Prediction

This should be an underrated set of matches between two powerhouses in their respective countries. Antwerp is playing far from their best football domestically right now but they always show up internationally, evidenced by their group stage performance. Rangers are usually playing catchup to their crosstown rivals Celtic, but Rangers are in fantastic form domestically and internationally and putting quite a space between themselves and the field. Book Rangers to come out on top after a pair of exciting fixtures.

Sportovní klub Slavia Praha – fotbal vs Leicester City Football Club

Slavia Praha (Czech Republic)

Title Odds: +15000

League Place: 1st

The lone Czech side in Europe is Salvia Prague, the capital team and one of the best clubs in the country year in and year out. Prague were the second best team in their group behind just Bayer Leverkusen, nothing for them to be ashamed of. Domestically Prague score a lot of goals and push forward often to overwhelm their often under-equipped opponents. Their defensive record is also outstanding, allowing only three goals in the league. A host of talented forwards and midfielders will make this team a dangerous opponent but their chances of advancing out of the first round are low.

Leicester City (England)

Title Odds: +1200

League Place: 3rd

Leicester’s rise to power in the English football scene has been sudden and disruptive, often forcing some of the traditional powerhouses out of Europe, but that success has yet to translate internationally. Their identity as a feeder club is justified and it seems they’re always selling at the height of their power and this season they’ve struggled to put out their same winning ways. They’re doing well in the Premier League but their scoring has dropped drastically from the opening weeks. In the Europa League they did win their group but Braga tied them on points, drawing with the Portuguese and losing to Zorya. They ought to have high chances in the competition but there’s also a chance they crash out.

Head-to-Head Prediction

Despite the Czech club playing some of their best football at the moment, there isn’t much hope for their odds of making any type of run in the Europa League with this draw. Though Leicester have stumbled a bit lately and do underperform against the smaller sides, they won’t be losing this match. They’ll likely play their starters to get ahead before mass changes at half to rest their legs for the intense second half schedule, one that Leiceister will be attacking hungrily. The Foxes move on easily.

Football Club Red Bull Salzburg vs Villarreal Club de Fútbol, S.A.D.

Salzburg (Austria)

Title Odds: +3500

League Place: 1st

RB Salzburg are becoming a secondary favorite for many footballing fans around the world. The Austrian club are one of the best in their domestic league but were unable to advance from their Champions League group, though none will fault them for losing out to Bayern and Atléti. The club have rightfully relatively high odds of winning the tournament because they and their sister club, Leipzig, have a wonderful system of scouting and developing young talent capable of dominating most clubs. Their attacking system scores a lot of goals and though they’re vulnerable at the back, Dominik Szoboszlai’s sumptuous skills can make anyone forget all about that.

Villarreal (Spain)

Title Odds: +1800

League Place: 4th

Villarreal are one of the more well known clubs in the competition coming out of Spain and having another strong start to the season. Despite some recent complacency in the form of draws, Villarreal are still close to the top of La Liga, though not as close to the top as they were in their Europa League group. The club won their group over Tel Aviv, Sivasspor, and Qarabaǧ with a very good offense, though their defense left a bit to be desired. There’s a lot of big names headlining the attack that one should become familiar with like Alcácer, Kubo, and Chukwueze, but they won’t be able to outscore clubs like Spurs and AC Milan, so sorting out the defense should be a priority before the Round of 16 draws.

Head-to-Head Prediction

I noted that Villarreal will struggle to outscore some of the big boys in the competition and might be relieved to have avoided them for now, but Salzburg won’t prove much easier. The Champions League dropouts have the attack to keep pace with Villarreal and a very good system that will keep them tight with the Spanish. With the rosters both sides currently employ and what I’ve seen from Salzburg this season, I predict that the Austrians can upset Villarreal.

Sporting Clube de Braga vs Associazione Sportiva Roma

Braga (Portugal)

Title Odds: +10000

League Place: 4th

Brage are less of a powerhouse than many of the other powerhouses in Portugal, preferring to showcase defensive abilities and score only when needed in order to collect points. That being said, they are a clinical team. Their midfield is one of the stronger units on the Iberian Peninsula, offering value to possession and a stout line of defense when the opposition have the ball. The central defending is composed and does well against set pieces, but a knack to switch off late in games sometimes takes the team out of winning positions.

Roma (Italy)

Title Odds: +2000

League Place: 6th

AS Roma are one of the surprisingly many members of this season’s Europa League who are legendary names in the world footballing scene. The club have appeared in a Champions League Finals and own one of the most exciting comebacks in competition history, but the rebuild is in effect for the Romans. Creative and smart investments has Roma vying for a top spot in Serie A and saw them win a fairly weak group in the Europa League. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Jordan Veretout are dominating the attacking third while young defenders are growing into their massive roles.

Head-to-Head Prediction

Roma have some of the better odds in the entire field to come out as tournament champions and their form in Serie A makes it easy to see why, but pulling Braga will make the first step a difficult one. The Portuguese side is slow and methodical and their home fixture could be a painful experience for Roma. I do think the Italians will take the series and advance but it will be a low scoring affair that will be won in the second leg.

Football Club Krasnodar vs Građanski nogometni klub Dinamo Zagreb

Krasnodar (Russia)

Title Odds: +5000

League Place: 8th

If you’ve been following the Champions League you’ll know this club, a Russian side who have shot up the ranks of the Russian football leagues in recent seasons. The club were stuck behind Chelsea and Sevilla in the Champions League and come to the Europa League with a troubling defensive record both domestically and internationally. If you’ve followed my writing you know the issues Russia is having with their international clubs and Krasnodar is the prime example. The roster isn’t dep or talented enough to play multiple games a week against good competition and that’s on display. Their form has risen recently but the struggles have already been seen and acted upon.

Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia)

Title Odds: +12500

League Place: 1st

As you might have figured by the club’s name Dinamo Zagreb is the lone Croatian team in the Europa League this season, winning their group of middling clubs from moderately large leagues. Though they only scored nine times in those matches the more important statistic to notice is their defensive record of one goal allowed. The club centers on defense and possession, only seizing on offensive opportunities once the defense is unlocked. The patient side has never achieved the heights of their former rivals in Serbia, Red Star, though the two could meet and rekindle old feelings if we’re lucky.

Head-to-Head Prediction

Krasnodar were recipients of this position with a bit of luck, being placed in a Champions League group with a French team which makes life as easy as being placed with a Russian team… Anyways, Krasnodar aren’t a very good club right now because their workload is overwhelming. That load may lighten in the coming months, but Zagreb is a much better side in my eyes. This could end up being a tighter match after a couple more months of results but right now I see Zagreb moving on.

Berner Sport Club Young Boys vs Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fußball GmbH

Young Boys (Switzerland)

Title Odds: +20000

League Place: 1st

Young Boys might be a name some new to Europe recognize just because of its unique name, but the Swiss side frequents European competition with Basel as their only real competition in the neutral state. Young Boys finished second in their group behind Roma which isn’t a bad thing, but it’s fair to point out that their play internationally has been lackluster. The club is at the top of their game domestically but the defense allowed over a goal per game while the offense produced only 1.5 per 90 minutes. The club is clearly defensive-minded which can make them a tough out in a two match series, but any club with a decent offense should dispatch the Swiss side with some ease.

Leverkusen (Germany)

Title Odds: +1600

League Place: 1st

There’s a shocking new leader of the Bundesliga in Germany and that’s Bayer Leverkusen, a club expected to drop off after big sales in the summer window but one that’s instead thriving, playing well in all thirds. The Germans rolled through their Europa League group easily and are scoring in droves, led by Lucas Alario and Leon Bailey. The central defense is excellent at disarming opposing attackers and distributing the ball to their forwards which will make them a threat against any team in the world. Any club at the top of a major table at this point should be feared by all.

Head-to-Head Prediction

As I detailed, it’s a bit shocking that Leverkusen are currently in the top position in the Bundesliga, but what they’ll do to their Swiss opponents won’t be a surprise. Young Boys aren’t equipped to match up with Leverkusen and should be dismantled handily in the first leg, enough that the Germans can get some rest in the second one. In fact, this couldn’t have worked out much better for Leverkusen considering the short trip to visit their neighbors.

Molde Fotballklubb vs Turn- und Sportgemeinschaft 1899 Hoffenheim e.V.

Molde (Norway)

Title Odds: +25000

League Place: 2nd

Molde are one of the top clubs in the Norwegian football system and though they struggle to keep players who could play in other leagues in Europe, they advanced through their admittedly weak group. Arsenal was the top side in the group and beat Molde both times, but Dundalk and Rapid Wein provided valuable points to push the club into the next round. In the Eliteserien Molde have been outdone and will likely finish in second place which will be one of the high points of the season. The club can score on teams who are their equal or lesser, but there are few of those at this point; Molde are destined for an early exit from the competition.

Hoffenheim (Germany)

Title Odds: +3300

League Place: 12th

Hoffenheim are a German club who are struggling in the Bundesliga right now but are happy to escape those woes when in Europe, winning their group and only stumbling with a draw to Red Star. Their scoring record was 4th best in the group stage at 17 goals, headed by players like Andrij Kramarić, Munas Dabbur, and Sargis Adamyan. That being said, defending is a huge issue for the German side and if they have the misfortune of stumbling upon a Spurs or AC Milan at some point, their issues will be exposed on more than the league level.

Head-to-Head Prediction

Molde will be disappointed with their draw of Hoffenheim but there were very few teams that they could have been picked with that would give them a chance of advancing any further. The Norwegian’s run will come to an end against Hoffenheim, though the state of the club makes them more vulnerable and Molde did look very good at times in the group stage. This could be an event where the Hoffenheim fans are worrying for about 20 minutes before their high-octane attack puts it away for good.

Granada Club de Fútbol, S.A.D. vs Societá Sportiva Calcio Napoli

Granada (Spain)

Title Odds: +5000

League Place: 7th

Granada are one of the lower tier teams that come from one of the big five leagues in Europe. Though they’re consistent, the ceiling for the Spaniards is frustratingly low, starting the season very well in La Liga before regressing down to a much more reasonable level currently. Granada were outclassed by Dutch side PSV Eindhoven in their group, losing their final meeting with Eindhoven and drawing twice with PAOK, goalless both times. Defense is a strength but the lack of quality attackers leaves the team helpless against clubs with defenses that can rival their own.

Napoli (Italy)

Title Odds: +1400

League Place: 3rd

Napoli should be one of the favorites to win the competition as they’re not just too good for this competition, but they’re also a club who would be respected at this point in the Champions League. Napoli are anchored by one of the best defenders in the world in Kalidou Koulibaly and their strong defensive record in Serie A and the Europa League indicate that. Napoli only allowed five goals in the group stage though one might not get the whole picture of their attack from those matches. Napoli has four of the better attackers in Italy on their side and against better competition they’ll take out the big guns and run out the first team, something they’re yet to do to this point.

Head-to-Head Prediction

While two teams from major divisions meeting at this point in the festivities can usually be a very exciting clash, I don’t feel that flair around these two sides. Don’t get me wrong, both are good and Napoli is an utterly delicious club to consume, but Granada doesn’t bring that excitement for me. Maybe it’s just because their ceiling is so low that I feel that way, but I doubt they’re going to provide much of a fight to a team who’s probably suited to take a spot in the Champions League. Napoli should win both legs.

Maccabi Tel Aviv Football Club vs Football Club Shakhtar Donetsk

Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel)

Title Odds: +20000

League Place: 5th

Maccabi are one of the few teams not geographically part of Europe who are able to participate in the UEFA events thanks to Israel’s affiliation with the European Union. The club’s defense has suffered this season and puts them a bit further down in the Israeli Premier LEague than they might like, but it was stable enough to keep them alive in the Europa League despite a negative goal differential. Being placed in a terrible group pays off, apparently. There’s next to no chance of advancing for Tel Aviv though if the stars align it’s possible they make a splash.

Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine)

Title Odds: +4000

League Place: 2nd

Shakhtar Donetsk are the holders of the Ukrainian Premier League title and one of the best teams out of eastern Europe that we see season in and season out. In fact their quality on both ends of the pitch and fantastic international scouting regularly has them as one of the best teams in Europe. Unfortunately for the relocated club, they were stuck in the Group of Death in the Champions League and were beaten out by Real Madrid and Gladbach, though they deserve praise for beating out Inter. Shakhtar are a very talented attacking club and can clearly beat any team in the world after toppling Real twice in the Champions League.

Head-to-Head Prediction

Like I said in my bit about Maccabi, there was never much of a chance they advanced through to the Round of 16. If you’re interested in geopolitics and the struggles that come with them there’s certainly some interesting stories surrounding the countries that harbor these two teams, and especially the city of Donetsk, but there’s not much substance to the football teams when playing each other. Shakhtar will easily move on past the Israelis.

Lille Olympique Sporting Club vs Amsterdamsche Football Club Ajax

Lille (France)

Title Odds: +4000

League Place: 1st

Lille are a French side who have started to drift towards the top of the ranks in Ligue 1 in recent years, excelling at identifying young talent, investing and improving it, selling for a profit, and repeating the process. They’re not the best in the world, but they’re good enough to find themselves at the top of their league right now, ahead of PSG, Lyon, and everyone else. The club came second in their Europa Group, running into the buzzsaw that is AC Milan, but that won’t overshadow their talent. Lille can score quickly with individual efforts which catch teams off guard. They may struggle against teams with strong individual defenders though.

Ajax (Netherlands)

Title Odds: +1600

League Place: 1st

Ajax were victims of one of the Champions League Groups of Death this season, being pitted with Liverpool and Atalanta in a battle they were far from equipped to deal with. Still the club nearly advanced to the knockout rounds but were relegated to the Europa League on the final day. Ajax’s attacking football will be a big hit in the Europa League, just not for the clubs they play. The club are dominating the Eredivisie with a stunning 47 goals in 12 appearances and ought to cause big issues for any club they face in Europe.

Head-to-Head Prediction

Now we’re back with some exciting matches! Lille and Ajax are both topping their domestic leagues right now with dominant offenses, something that international competitions love to see. These should be two of the more entertaining fixtures in this round and ones that will excite the fans of Lille especially. I see the first leg being a high scoring draw that puts serious implications on Ajax to win at home, which they will. The Dutch could be fully healthy again by that point which would make advancing a tough thing for Lille. It could go either way but my vote goes to Ajax.

Olympiacos Football Club vs The Philips Sport Vereniging

Olympiacos (Greece)

Title Odds: +5000

League Place: 1st

Olympiacos fell out of the Champions League in one of the worse groups the competition put out, beat out by Manchester City and an overachieving Porto club while themselves beating out OM. I’ve gone over it before, but Olympiacos has a unique strategy to assembling a roster. They do their best to find the best players possible but prioritize older stars who are past their prime but still have something left in the tank. While this can work against some clubs and might get them some points in Greece or against smaller sides (with whom they’ll be matched with here), it won’t do against teams with real talent and that’s what we saw in the Champions League. This team can defend well but are far too reliant on Mathieu Valbuena for creation.

PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands)

Title Odds: +6600

League Place: 2nd

PSV are one of the traditional powerhouses in the Netherlands, though few can overcome the luster that comes from Ajax. PSV play in the Eredivisie which is an especially topheavy league, but their defensive record is real. The Dutch side cruised to a first place finish in their group, impressively beating out Granada. Everything that a good club needs, PSV have: a strong defense, skilled attackers with high upside, world class experience, and a progressive and creative take to football. Though they’re probably not destined to make it far in the competition, they could upset a team in the round of 16 or quarterfinals.

Head-to-Head Prediction

While PSV aren’t the points factory that they usually are right now, struggling a bit to keep pace in the Eredivisie, they won their group and look very convincing internationally. Olympiacos are the authors of a massive upset over Arsenal last season and have the skill and experience to take out the Dutch side, but I see PSV prevailing.  Olympiacos can probably keep the scoring to a minimum which will give them the best chance of advancing, but PSV are too talented on the attack to be denied. This could be a series won on away goals for the Dutch team.