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Europa Conference League final preview, predictions & lineups


Olympiacos are in familiar territory as they take on Fiorentina in the 2023/24 Europa Conference League final.

The Greek side will make the short trip across Athens with the OPAP Arena playing host to Wednesday’s showpiece event.

Olympiacos advanced into the final after convincingly downing Unai Emery’s Aston Villa in the last four. After securing a 4-2 victory at Villa Park, Jose Luis Mendilibar’s side strolled to a 2-0 home win and a 6-2 aggregate triumph.

Mendilibar is now aiming to claim his second European trophy in as many seasons after he oversaw Sevilla’s Europa League triumph last term.

Roma succumbed to Mendilibar’s Sevilla in Budapest, and another Italian team will be standing in the Spaniard’s way in Athens. Fiorentina have enjoyed immense cup success with Vincenzo Italiano at the helm, but they’re yet to find a way of getting over the line. La Viola were cruelly beaten 2-1 by West Ham in last season’s Conference League final.

Their route to the final this time around wasn’t quite as serene as their opponents’. Fiorentina have so far squeezed past Maccabi Haifa, Viktoria Plzen, and Club Brugge to reach the big game. Italiano will be intent on slaying the demons from Prague on Wednesday.

Here’s 90min’s preview of the 2023/24 Europa Conference League final.

Olympiacos vs Fiorentina H2H record

This is the first competitive meeting between these two clubs.

Current form (all competitions)

Olympiacos

Fiorentina

Panathinaikos 2-2 Olympiacos – 19/05/24

Cagliari 2-3 Fiorentina – 23/05/24

Olympiacos 2-0 AEK Athens – 15/05/24

Fiorentina 2-2 Napoli – 17/05/24

PAOK 2-0 Olympiacos – 12/05/24

Fiorentina 2-1 Monza – 13/05/24

Olympiacos 2-0 Aston Villa – 09/05/24

Club Brugge 1-1 Fiorentina – 08/05/24

Aston Villa 2-4 Olympiacos – 02/05/24

Hellas Verona 2-1 Fiorentina – 05/05/24

Country

TV channel/live stream

United Kingdom

discovery+, discovery+ App, TNT Sports 1, TNT Sports Ultimate

United States

Paramount+, TUDN.com, TUDN App, TUDN USA

Canada

DAZN

Ayoub El Kaabi

Ayoub El Kaabi scored five times over two legs in the semi-final against Aston Villa / Milos Bicanski/GettyImages

Mendilibar is unlikely to make changes from the teams that downed Aston Villa in the semi-final.

The Olympiacos coach is without long-term absentee Doron Leidner, while Giulian Bancone and Bandiougou Fadiga are both unlikely to feature.

Villan slayer Ayoub El Kaabi will lead the line in Athens on Wednesday.

Olympiacos predicted lineup vs Fiorentina (4-3-3): Tzolakis; Rodinei, Retsos, Carmo, Ortega; Iborra, Hezze, Chiquinho; Podence, El Kaabi, Fortounis.

Riccardo Sottil

A shoulder injury could keep Riccardo Sottil out of Wednesday’s final / Gabriele Maltinti/GettyImages

Italiano is set to be without winger Riccardo Sottil for the final, so Nicolas Gonzalez and Christian Kouame are poised to flank striker Andrea Belotti.

The Italians otherwise have no injury concerns. M’Bala Nzola and Antonin Barak are among the fringe players pushing for starts.

Fiorentina predicted lineup vs Olympiacos (4-2-3-1): Terracciano; Dodo, Milenkovic, Martinez Quarta, Biraghi; Mandragora, Bonaventura; Gonzalez, Beltran, Kouame; Belotti.

Chaos has followed these two teams for weeks, and we could be in for a high-scoring affair in Athens.

Italiano will hope that his side learned plenty from their defeat in last season’s final, but they’re facing a wily opponent led by a shrewd coach in Mendilibar. Olympiacos flummoxed a fatiguing, but nonetheless very good, Aston Villa side in the last four, and Mendilibar’s pragmatism could prove crucial on the big occasion.

Fiorentina have perpetually been the nearly men of Italian football, with their recent record in finals perhaps a concern heading into Wednesday’s game. Both sides carry momentum heading into Athens, but the curse of La Viola may well strike again.

Prediction: Olympiacos 2-1 Fiorentina

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