The in-form Olympiacos turn their attention to the derby with PAOK (5/11, 19:30, COSMOTE SPORT 1HD, LIVE SPORT24), with Martinez making two key returns.
Olympiacos is in excellent form. Proof is the great victory over West Ham with 2-1 for the 3rd game of the Europa League and the dominant performance against OFI, which they won 2-0 for the 9th game of the Stoiximan Super League.
The high-difficulty schedule continues for the red and whites with crucial games. On Sunday (5/11, 19:30, COSMOTE SPORT 1HD, LIVE SPORT24) Olympiacos welcomes PAOK for the 10th matchday, while on Thursday (9/11, 22:00) they travel to England for the game against West Ham .
For the red and whites, the match against Dikephalos is the priority. They want to increase their gap with PAOK, which is currently four points, while they are waiting to see what will happen to the EPO appeals committee regarding the derby against Panathinaikos.
He goes stronger in the derby
Olympiacos goes into the derby against PAOK even stronger. Against OFI, Fortounis and Rodinei were missing, who were not at 100% after the match against West Ham.
Their void was duly filled, with Keene having a solid game and the red and white midfield (Solbaken, Pontense, Masouras, Jovetic) working overtime and doing a great job. But, in the derby, Martinez will have returns.
Specifically, Fortounis and Rodinei return against Dikephalos. Thus, the Spanish coach will have two key assets at his disposal.
The captain of Olympiakos, who can make the difference in a match and his best wing defender who gives valuable boosts and helps the most thanks to the cooperation that has the attacking “wings” of the red and whites.
Their performance shows how important they are. Fortounis is first in the league in actions with 93.91 per 90 minutes, first in creating chances (4.55 per 90 minutes) and among the leaders in passes in the attack with 26.07.
For his part, Rodney is one of the best dribblers in the league with 2.54 per 90 minutes and one of the most active players of the red and whites (76.44 actions per 90 minutes).
The decision that Martinez is asked to make
Martinez will have two key returns, but he will also have to make an important decision. Along with Olympiakos, Jackson Porozo is also in form. The 23-year-old central defender showed great stability against West Ham and OFI, so he has won the trust of Diego Martinez and is “knocking” on the door of the main team with PAOK.
However, this is how a specific condition is created. Olympiacos has six non-EU footballers (Ese, Ortega, Rodiney, El Kaabi, Camara, Poroso) and allowed to use five in each match. So, against PAOK, it will be necessary to leave one out.
Difficult situation for Martinez, since Ese – Kamara (showed signs of fatigue with OFI) are difficult to replace, Ortega has turned up, El Kaabi is the top scorer of the red and whites, Rodiney is pivotal on the wings, while Poroso has shown great stability.
So, in the next few days, Martinez will have to decide who will be left out of the squad, depending on the plan he wants to set up against PAOK, but also depending on what will happen in the next few days’ training sessions.
However, soon Ese and Rodney are going to obtain a Community passport and the problem for the Spanish coach will be solved.