The two Moroccan Olympiacos strikers scored four goals each in their first eight matches at the start of their time in the red and white shirts. In fact, they scored two goals each in a European match and two more in the first four matches of the tournament. El Kaabi currently fully justifies choosing Martinez to start with.
Olympiacos is different at the start of the season, compared to last season, it is more quality, dynamic, efficient, full in most positions, and its players have confidence in themselves and show it in practice.
The Red and Whites found themselves chasing a score in New Philadelphia, but they got a response right away. They upped their game, gaining yards down the field, creating turnovers and tying the game quickly.
The Piraeus players showed their character, they showed their character on the pitch, they read well and if they had taken a risk in the second half perhaps they could have gotten something more out of the game.
Martinez preferred to play safely and ensure a draw, believing that this would be in Olympiacos’ interest in continuing the tournament.
The positive thing for the Spanish coach is that Ayoub El Kaabi scored in his first derby in Greece and this will help him psychologically, but also the psychology of the entire team in general.
Because it was not easy for Martinez to keep a player of Stefan Jovetic’s value on the bench, nor to leave Olympiacos’ top scorer in European competitions, Youssef El-Arabi, out of service.
Al-Kaabi justifies Martinez’s choice to use him as a starting player
For now, El Kaabi is justifying the 42-year-old’s choice to use him as a starter, having scored four goals in eight appearances in Greece and Europe. Two for the league and two for the Europa League qualifiers.
If we count the minutes he played, the Moroccan striker scores a goal every 121 minutes. The 30-year-old scores a goal every 98 minutes in Europe and a goal every 143 minutes in the league. And all this, while he only has 40 days of competitive presence at Olympiacos.
Al-Kaabi is currently following in the footsteps of his compatriot Al-Arabi, who at the beginning of his first season in the red jersey scored four goals in his first eight matches in Greece and Europe. However, the latter then scored one goal in every 68 minutes of participation.
Also, the common denominator between the Moroccan strikers is that Al-Kaabi scored two goals in one match in Europe, this goal against Chukaretsky, in the European League qualifiers, and Al-Arabi scored two goals against Krasnodar in the Champions League qualifiers.
Meanwhile, they scored two goals in two of their four league matches. The former scored in the two matches against Lamia and AEK, and the latter scored against Asteras Tripoli and Volos.
At Olympiacos, they hope that Al-Kaabi will have a competitive path similar to Al-Arabi in terms of productivity, because that will be in the interest of the Piraeus team.
This is not the easiest thing to do, as the latter has made its mark on the recent history of the red and white, but the former has made a good start.
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