Olympiacos vs Zalgiris Kaunas EuroLeague Preview & Tips: Greeks to get off to a solid start in Athens

Despite losing twice against the Lithuanians in the regular season, Olympiacos have the quality and experience to put an end to Zalgiris’ season
Zalgiris Kaunas will look to take advantage of injuries to key Olympiacos Piraeus players in Athens (Petras Malukas/Getty Images)
Zalgiris Kaunas will look to take advantage of injuries to key Olympiacos Piraeus players in Athens (Petras Malukas/Getty Images)

Zalgiris Kaunas travel to Athens to take on Olympiacos Piraeus after beating the Greek side twice in the regular season. In a highly anticipated encounter, Zalgiris will need to take advantage of injuries to key Olmpiakos players if they are to win Game 1.

Olympiacos Piraeus


The Greeks haven’t played very well recently with four losses in their last five matches, but their biggest concern is the injuries to some of their key players. With Giorgos Printezis and Kim Tillie still out of action and Janis Strelnieks doubtful for Games 1 and 2, coach Giannis Sfairopoulos needs to find alternative options. 

With so much uncertainty surrounding the status of their stars, the Reds will rely on the duo of Vassilis Spanoulis and Nikola Milutinov to make the difference offensively. 

The return to action of versatile forward Kostas Papanikolaou will offer decent solutions on both ends of the floor, but Olympiakos need to drastically improve their three-point percentage which is worst in the league at 33.4%. 

Zalgiris Kaunas


Zalgiris have had a great season so far and now want to take it to the next level by eliminating one of the EuroLeague favourites. Coach Sarunas Jasikevicius has created an excellent team that can be very competitive for 40 minutes and is not afraid of any opponent. 

The Lithuanians will depend on Kevin Pangos and Paulius Jankunas who have played consistently during the regular season. Arturas Milaknis and Aaron White will have a central role in coach Jasikevicius’ tactics against Olympiacos. 

Match Up


Olympiacos have the second best defensive line in the league after conceding 75 points per game. Coach Sfairopoulos will be sweating on the availability of Printezis, Tillie and Strelnieks for Wednesday’s game.

Zalgiris coach Jasikevicius will try to control the tempo of the game beat the Greeks in transition, with a score exceeding 80 points likely required if his squad is any chances of beating the Greeks.

Key Statistics


  • Olympiacos have conceded 87 points in their last 5 EuroLeague matches.
  • Zalgiris have won both matches against Olympiacos by an average of 3.5 points (74-68, 85-86).

Verdict


The match up between Olympiacos and Zalgiris Kaunas will be very exciting. If their injured stars can return the Reds will be in a real position of strength, especially at the sold-out Piece and Friendship Stadium.

The Lithuanians will try to impose their playing style and control the tempo, and their shooting percentage from beyond the arc could determine whether they will remain competitive.

Best Bet: Olympiacos Winning at Half-Time / Full-Time at 1.76
Team Total Bet: Olympiacos over 80.5 points at 1.87
Total Bet: Over 157.5 at 2.05.

EuroLeague

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Freetips staff 15 April 2018

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