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Olympiacos out to see off Metalist

Published: Friday 9 March 2012, 9.05CET
Olympiacos FC beat FC Metalist Kharkiv 1-0 in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 16 tie, but will need to be wary of the competition's top scorers in Piraeus.
Olympiacos out to see off Metalist
Olympiacos celebrate their goal in Kharkiv ©AFP/Getty Images
Published: Friday 9 March 2012, 9.05CET

Olympiacos out to see off Metalist

Olympiacos FC beat FC Metalist Kharkiv 1-0 in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 16 tie, but will need to be wary of the competition's top scorers in Piraeus.

Olympiacos FC will look to restrain the UEFA Europa League's top scorers once more as FC Metalist Kharkiv visit Greece for the first time in their round of 16 decider.

• The Greek side won 1-0 in Ukraine. David Fuster (50) got the only goal with Metalist midfielder Edmar shown a straight red card late on.

Previous meetings
• Prior to last week, the sides' only previous meeting came in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage, with Edmar scoring the only goal (88) in a 1-0 home win for Metalist. Myron Markevich was in charge of Metalist while Ernesto Valverde was in the first of his two spells as Olympiacos coach.

• The teams for that game on 3 December 2008 were:
Metalist: Goryainov*, Gancarczyk (Babych 90+4), Valyayev*, Edmar*, Sliusar, Obradović*, Maidana, Gueye*, Fomin (Trišović 82), Bordian, Jajá (Konyushenko 90+1).
Olympiacos: Nikopolidis, Patsatzoglou, Domi, Galletti (Mitroglou 72), Diogo*, Djordjević. Antzas, Dudu, A Papadopoulos*, Belluschi, Torossidis* (Pantos 80).

* registered to play in this season's UEFA Europa League.

Match background
• Their two games against Olympiacos represent Metalist's only experience of Greek opposition.

• Olympiacos's eight previous meetings with Ukrainian opponents have ended W2 D3 L3 (W0 D2 L1 at home – W2 D1 L2 in Ukraine). They have yet to win at home against a Ukrainian side.

• Olympiacos are on a five-game winning streak in Europe, during which they have won four games 1-0 and conceded just once, in a 3-1 UEFA Champions League triumph over Arsenal FC.

• Olympiacos have won five of their last six European home games, with a 1-0 defeat to Olympique de Marseille in this season’s UEFA Champions League group stage their only recent lapse.

• Metalist are unbeaten in five European away games this season, a 1-1 draw at AZ Alkmaar and four victories, in three of which they scored four times.

• The Greek champions last reached the round of 16 in 2004/05 − the first season since the advent of the UEFA Cup group stage − losing out to Newcastle United FC.

• Olympiacos last reached a major quarter-final in the 1998/99 UEFA Champions League, when they were beaten 3-2 on aggregate by Juventus.

• Metalist were unbeaten in ten UEFA Europa League games – seven wins and three draws – going into the first leg against Olympiacos.

• Markevich's Metalist broke new ground by reaching the round of 16 in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup, losing out on away goals to domestic rivals FC Dynamo Kyiv, winning 3-2 at home after a 1-0 away defeat. They have not progressed beyond this stage in a UEFA club competition.

Team facts
• Metalist are the most prolific scorers in the UEFA Europa League with 23 goals in eight games since the start of the group stage – two more than their nearest rivals PSV Eindhoven. Olympiacos were the first side to get a clean sheet against them in that period.

• Metalist's 4-1 win at home against FC Salzburg in the round of 32 matched their best results at home in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League – it was their third 4-1 home win in the competitions.

• Metalist's José Ernesto Sosa has the joint most assists in the competition with five.

• Metalist midfielder Sebastián Blanco turns 24 on the day of the game.

• Metalist's Serbian defender Milan Obradović spent a season in Greece with Akratitos FC in 2005/06 prior to joining his current side.

• Olympiacos's Spanish coach Ernesto Valverde was a forward and later coach with Athletic Club. He twice lost UEFA Cup finals on penalties with RSC Espanyol, as a player in 1988 and as a coach in 2007, but won the 1989 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup at FC Barcelona. He is in his second spell with the Piraeus club having won the Greek title in his first season, in 2008/09, and again on returning in 2010/11.

• Metalist coach Myron Markevich is a keen student of the game − he has made trips to study Fabio Capello, Christoph Daum and Carlo Ancelotti − and is also an able pianist. Having been in charge of Metalist since 2005, he was named Ukraine coach on his 59th birthday in February 2010 but stepped down that August to focus solely on his club duties.

Competition statistics
• An updated version of the UEFA Europa League Statistics Handbook is available here:
http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=1750416.html

Last updated: 13/03/12 18.12CET

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