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Olympiacos aim for progress against Arsenal

Published: Monday 28 November 2011, 8.45CET
Olympiacos FC are right back in qualifying contention after their away win on matchday five, but they have to beat Arsenal FC and hope Olympique de Marseille falter.
Olympiacos aim for progress against Arsenal
Olympiacos enjoy their matchday five victory in Marseille ©Getty Images
Published: Monday 28 November 2011, 8.45CET

Olympiacos aim for progress against Arsenal

Olympiacos FC are right back in qualifying contention after their away win on matchday five, but they have to beat Arsenal FC and hope Olympique de Marseille falter.

Olympiacos FC put themselves right back in the qualifying picture with victory on matchday five and another success against Arsenal FC, who are already assured of first place in Group F, would leave them with a real chance of reaching the last 16 again.

• Substitute Giannis Fetfatzidis scored the only goal against Olympique de Marseille in the last round of games, turning round the 1-0 home defeat Olympiacos suffered against the French side on matchday one. The Greek champions now have six points, one behind Marseille, and will progress should they win and their rivals drop points at Borussia Dortmund; even a draw could be enough, depending on the result in Germany.

• While the Greek club were putting a dent in Marseille's hopes two weeks ago, the Gunners were recording their third win with a pair of Robin van Persie goals against Dortmund.

• When the teams met on 28 September, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrated his UEFA Champions League debut with the opening goal as Arsenal won 2-1. André Santos made it two before David Fuster pulled one back.

• After opening with defeats by Marseille and Arsenal, Olympiacos traded wins with Dortmund, winning 3-1 at home before a 1-0 away loss.

• Arsenal started with a 1-1 draw in Germany and on matchday three gave their hopes a real boost with a 1-0 win in Marseille. The return fixture in north London finished goalless.

Previous meetings
• The teams were also paired together in the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League group stage when Leonardo's lone strike early in the second half gave Olympiacos revenge for a 2-0 defeat at the Arsenal Stadium, the damage done by Van Persie and Andrey Arshavin in the final 12 minutes.

• The lineups in Piraeus on 9 December 2009 were:
Olympiacos: Nikopolidis, Mellberg, Galitsios, Galletti, Óscar González (Pantos 90+3), Raúl Bravo, Dudu (Domi 86), A Papadopoulos, Mitroglou, Leonardo, Maresca.
Arsenal: Fabiański, Bartley, Cruise, Silvestre, Gilbert, Walcott, Ramsey, Song, Wilshere (Sunu 76), Vela, Mérida.

• That win was one of only three victories for Olympiacos in nine home games against English sides, the others coming against Liverpool FC on matchday two of the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League and against Tottenham Hotspur FC in the 1972/73 UEFA Cup second round. Both were won 1-0. The other six games yielded three draws and three defeats.

• Arsenal have recorded two wins in Athens, both against Panathinaikos FC. Their other four visits to Greece, including the 2009 reverse, have produced three defeats and a draw.

Match background
• Should Olympiacos join Arsenal in the last 16 it would be their third qualification in successive participations. They also made it through in 2009/10 and 2007/08 but only once before that – in 1998/99 when they reached the quarter-finals.

• This is the 12th season in a row that Arsenal have qualified from the initial group stage and the eighth time in that period that they have finished as group winners.

Team ties
• On 19 August 2006 Olof Mellberg, then with Aston Villa FC, became the first player to score a competitive goal at Arsenal's new stadium. The game ended 1-1, one of only two points Mellberg picked up in 11 Premier League meetings with the Gunners.

• Bacary Sagna and Rafik Djebbour were together at AJ Auxerre from 2000 to 2003; Abou Diaby joined them in 2002.

• Sébastien Squillaci and François Modesto were team-mates at AS Monaco FC for two seasons (2004-06). Modesto was also there with Park Ju-Young from 2008 until 2010.

• Kevin Mirallas and Thomas Vermaelen play together with Belgium's national team.

• Jean Makoun and Alex Song do likewise with Cameroon.

Last updated: 30/11/11 18.03CET

Related information

Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2012/matches/round=2000263/match=2007651/prematch/background/index.html#olympiacos+progress+against+arsenal

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