Can the Viola make amends for last season’s UEFA Europa Conference League final defeat to West Ham? We look ahead to Wednesday’s showpiece with our Olympiakos vs Fiorentina prediction and preview.

Olympiakos vs Fiorentina Stats: The Quick Hits

  • The Opta supercomputer struggled to call this final, with Fiorentina winning 38.8% and Olympiakos triumphing in 35.2% of pre-match simulations.
  • Fiorentina are unbeaten in each of their last 13 games in Europe (W7 D6), the longest run in their history.
  • Olympiakos’ Ayoub El Kaabi is the leading goalscorer across major European competitions this season with 13 goals, including five across the two semi-final legs against Aston Villa.

Match Preview

Fiorentina will be aiming to banish last year’s demons when they return to the UEFA Europa Conference League final, facing Olympiakos at AEK Arena in Athens.

Wednesday will mark a historic moment for Olympiakos, who are preparing to make their first appearance in a major European final – 64 years and 259 days after their first outing in Europe.

The Greek side’s first European game ever came in the European Cup first round against Milan, a 2-2 draw way back in September 1959. That is the longest gap between a team’s first game and first final in major European competition history.

What a place to do it, too, with José Luis Mendilibar’s team attempting to make history in fierce rivals AEK Athens’ home ground. They will be the first team to contest a major European final in their home country since Marseille did so in the 2018 UEFA Europa League, the French side losing to Diego Simeone’s Atlético Madrid.

The benefits of playing on home soil are difficult to quantify, though, as each of the last four teams to do so have ended as runners-up. Eredivisie side Feyenoord were the last to be successful in such a match in the 2002 UEFA Cup.

Olympiakos are also only the second Greek club to reach a major European final after Panathinaikos, who lost 2-0 to Ajax in the 1971 European Cup showpiece at Wembley Stadium.

In stark contrast, Fiorentina will play their sixth final of a major European competition and their second in two seasons, after also reaching the Europa Conference League showpiece last season in Prague. That ended in defeat to West Ham after Jarrod Bowen’s 90th-minute winner snatched a 2-1 victory for David Moyes’ side.

Fiorentina’s only success in those previous five finals came in the 1961 Cup Winners’ Cup, where they beat Rangers 4-1 over two legs.

The route to Athens has been another long one for Vincenzo Italiano’s Serie A side, having to overcome Rapid Wien in the play-off round to feature in the group stage.

Fiorentina had to follow a similar path en route to their final agony against West Ham last term, seeing off Twente in a play-off qualifier for the group stage. They are the third team to reach back-to-back major European finals despite taking part in at least one qualifying round in both campaigns. The other occurrences of such runs both came in the UEFA Champions League, with Milan doing so in 1992-93 and 1993-94, and Valencia in 1999-00 and 2000-01.

Club Brugge 1-1 Fiorentina Europa Conference League Semi-Final

Italiano’s side secured their place in this 2023-24 final with a 4-3 aggregate victory over Club Brugge in the semi-finals as Lucas Beltrán’s late penalty in the second leg sent Fiorentina through with a 1-1 draw.

The forward is Fiorentina’s leading goalscorer in the Europa Conference League this season with four goals. Beltrán could also become the youngest Argentinian player (23y 61d) to score in a major European final since Lionel Messi (21y 337d), who netted for Barcelona against Manchester United in the 2009 Champions League final.

Italiano will likely opt for Nicolás González and Christian Kouamé either side of Beltrán, who may operate in behind either Andrea Belotti or M’Bala Nzola up top for Fiorentina. Attacker Riccardo Sottil will be the only Viola absentee, with his shoulder injury keeping him out of the lineup for Wednesday’s game.

Olympiakos had the tougher last-four draw to make the final in Athens, defeating Aston Villa – who will be playing in the Champions League next term – 6-2 on aggregate. Ayoub El Kaabi scored a hat-trick in the 4-2 away victory before his double secured a 2-0 second-leg triumph.

Aston 2-4 Olympiakos Europa Conference Legue Semi

The Moroccan is the leading goalscorer in major European competition this season with 13 goals, 10 of which have come in the knockouts of the Europa Conference League.

Doron Leidner is the only confirmed absentee for Mendilibar, though Francisco Ortega and Giulian Biancone missed a 2-2 draw with Panathinaikos that secured a third-place finish for Olympiakos in the Greek Super League last time out.

Olympiakos vs Fiorentina Head-to-Head

This will be the third European final across the last two seasons with two sides meeting for the first time in history, with Fiorentina also facing West Ham in last season’s showpiece and Manchester City overcoming Inter in the Champions League decider in 2022-23.

The Greek side have lost six of their last seven matches in European competition against Italian opposition. The only exception came against Milan after a 3-1 home win in the 2018-19 Europa League group stage.

Olympiakos have, however, only won more games in major European competition against English (12) and French (11) opponents than Italian (7).

Fiorentina also have cause for concern, though, as they have just one win in their five previous meetings with Greek opposition in Europe (D3 L1). All of those have come in the UEFA Cup/Europa League group stage, with a 1-0 victory against PAOK Salonika in 2014-15 their only such success.

Recent Form

Fiorentina will have their eyes on continental glory after going unbeaten in each of their last 13 games in European competition (W7 D6), the longest run in their history.

Italiano’s side are the third team to reach the Europa Conference League final while remaining unbeaten (W6 D6) after Feyenoord – runners-up in 2021-22 – and last season’s champions West Ham.

Olympiakos, by contrast, were eliminated from the Europa League this term but have subsequently overcome Ferencváros, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Fenerbahçe and Villa to go one game away from European glory.

Fiorentina, meanwhile, ended their Serie A campaign with a 3-2 victory away to Cagliari as Arthur Melo scored a 103rd-minute penalty to snatch the win.

Opta Power Rankings

The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.

Ahead of kick-off on Wednesday, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.

Olympiakos vs Fiorentina Prediction

The Opta supercomputer found it hard to predict the Conference League winners, with Fiorentina’s’ 38.8% chance of victory making them the narrow favourites from 10,000 pre-match simulations.

Olympiakos won in 35.2% of data-led sims, with the fine margins suggesting a hard-fought encounter in Athens.

A draw would send this final to extra-time – and possibly penalties – with that result forecast in 26.0% of predictions.

Olympiakos vs Fiorentina Prediction Opta

Olympiakos vs Fiorentina UECL Squads

Olympiakos: Alexandros Paschalakis, Kostas Tzolakis, Francisco Ortega, David Carmo, Quini, Rodinei, Omar Richards, Panagiotis Retsos, Andreas Ntoi, Mady Camara, André Horta, Chiquinho, Vicente Iborra, Sotiris Alexandropoulos, João Carvalho, Santiago Hezze, Daniel Podence, Kostas Fortounis, Ayoub El Kaabi, Youssef El-Arabi, Giorgos Masouras, Stevan Jovetić.

Head Coach: José Luis Mendilibar.

Fiorentina: Pietro Terracciano, Tomasso Martinelli, Tommaso Vannucchi, Oliver Christensen, Dodô, Cristiano Biraghi, Nikola Milenkovic, Luca Ranieri1, Davide Faraoni, Lucas Martínez Quarta, Michael Kayode, Pietro Comuzzo, Christian Biagetti, Fabiano Parisi, Giacomo Bonaventura, Arthur, Maxime López, Jonathan Ikoné, Gaetano Castrovilli, Gino Infantino, Alfred Duncan, Rolando Mandragora, Niccolò Fortini, Antonín Barák, Riccardo Sottil, Lucas Beltran, Nicolás González, M’Bala Nzola, Andrea Belotti, Maat Caprini, Fallou Sene, Christian Kouamé

Head coach: Vincenzo Italiano

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