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Olympiacos fired up for Arsenal rematch

Published: Monday 3 December 2012, 20.26CET
Leonardo Jardim wants Olympiacos FC to sign off in Group B with a repeat of last year's home win over Arsenal FC, whose manager Arsène Wenger says he is under no extra pressure.
by Paris Ayiomamitis
from Athens

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Published: Monday 3 December 2012, 20.26CET

Olympiacos fired up for Arsenal rematch

Leonardo Jardim wants Olympiacos FC to sign off in Group B with a repeat of last year's home win over Arsenal FC, whose manager Arsène Wenger says he is under no extra pressure.

Almost a year to the day since Olympiacos FC won 3-1 at home to Arsenal FC, Leonardo Jardim is hoping for a repeat performance when the sides renew acquaintances in Group B. While Olympiacos have UEFA Europa League football guaranteed, Arsenal, who have just one win from their last six Premier League games, are still eyeing top spot.

I don't want to compare our team with last season's squad as the players have changed, but we would like to repeat last year's result against Arsenal
Leonardo Jardim
The only pressure I feel right now is the one I always feel: to win the next game, for the team to play the football I love
Arsène Wenger

Arsenal have progressed from their group for the 13th year running but to end in first place must win at Olympiacos and hope FC Schalke 04 do not beat Montpellier Hérault SC.

Olympiacos will transfer to the UEFA Europa League round of 32.

Olympiacos
Leonardo Jardim, coach

Our first goal is to win and get in the pool of strong teams in the Europa League. The mere fact that we are playing a Champions League match is incentive enough. I don't want to compare our team with last season's squad as the players have changed, but we would like to repeat last year's result against Arsenal. I'm happy that we are creating scoring opportunities and we must continue doing that. Eventually we will become more effective at converting them. I would be more concerned if we weren't creating opportunities.

The Europa League has a lot of strong teams, including the ones that didn't make it into the Champions League knockout phase. We want to get through the next two rounds of the Europa League and compete with the teams that are favourites to win the trophy.

Weekend result
Saturday: Olympiacos 2-1 FC Platanias (Abdoun 6pen, Torossidis 19; Udoji 37)

Carroll; Torossidis, Manolas, Siovas, Holebas; Maniatis (Greco 75), Modesto, Ibagaza; Fuster (Vlachodimos 84), Mitroglou (Djebbour 65), Abdoun.

• Vassilis Torossidis's first league goal in over two years helped Olympiacos to their eighth successive home win. They are now ten points clear of second-placed PAOK FC after the Salonika outfit were held.

Team news
Charalambos Lykogiannis is out with a sprained ankle, while José Holebas is suspended and Avraam Papadopoulos is a long-term absentee with a knee injury. Paulo Machado is available after missing out at the weekend with a cold. François Modesto is rested.

Arsenal
Arsène Wenger, manager

This game comes at a good time. We have less pressure, as we are already through to the last 16 and we want to finish well and top of our group. It also gives us the opportunity to see players who have had less time on the pitch. The only pressure I feel right now is the one I always feel: to win the next game, for the team to play the football I love. The rest doesn't affect me at all.

I will tell my players not to be surprised by the commitment of Olympiacos. They are a historic club with huge pride. The match against us is their opportunity to show their quality. They have had a good campaign and I believe they were unlucky against us in London and against Schalke a fortnight ago. They came close to qualifying.

Weekend result
Saturday: Arsenal 0-2 Swansea City AFC (Michu 88 90+1)
Szczęsny; Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Arteta, Wilshere (Rosický 80); Walcott Cazorla, Podolski (Giroud 67); Gervinho (Oxlade-Chamberlain 67).

• Arsenal's worst start to the season since 1994/95 continued as Michu's late strikes consigned them to a defeat that leaves the Gunners with just two wins from their last eight games in all competitions. They have dropped down to tenth place in the Premier League.

Team news
Tomáš Rosický, who missed the first four months of the season with a tendon injury, is available after returning to action on Saturday but Wenger will be without Laurent Koscielny due to a thigh strain. Bacary Sagna is doubtful with a foot problem that ruled him out against Swansea.

Match fact
• The teams are in the same UEFA Champions League group for the third time in four seasons, and each of the previous five fixtures has been won by the home side.

Last updated: 04/12/12 17.57CET

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http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2013/matches/round=2000347/match=2009579/prematch/preview/index.html#olympiacos+fired+arsenal+rematch

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