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Records on the line in Athens

Published: Thursday 3 March 2005, 7.55CET
A perfect home record or a 100 per cent away one will go when Olympiacos CFP take on Newcastle United FC.
Published: Thursday 3 March 2005, 7.55CET

Records on the line in Athens

A perfect home record or a 100 per cent away one will go when Olympiacos CFP take on Newcastle United FC.

Olympiacos CFP and Newcastle United FC have never played each other in UEFA competition but both have played a team from their opponents' country already this season.

The Greek side began 2004/05 in the UEFA Champions League, where they were drawn in a group containing Liverpool FC. Olympiacos won 1-0 in Athens, Ieroklis Stoltidis scoring, and travelled to Anfield on Matchday 6 needing only a draw or a one-goal defeat (other than 1-0) to go through.

Although the Piraeus side opened the scoring through Rivaldo's first-half strike, the Reds turned on the style and went 2-1 ahead when Neil Mellor scored on 80 minutes. Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, fittingly, had the final say when drilling in a third goal six minutes later which saw his side advance and Olympiacos transfer to the UEFA Cup.

Olympiacos have won only two of their 12 matches against English clubs - 1-0 against Liverpool this season and versus Tottenham Hotspur FC in the second round of the 1972/73 UEFA Cup second round - but have never prevailed from a two-legged tie. Manchester United FC are the only English side to have won at Olympiacos, doing so twice in the 2001/02 and 2002/03 Champions League.

Newcastle met a Greek club for the first time in their history when they played Panionios NFC in their first group game this season. An 86th-minute Alan Shearer penalty earned them a 1-0 win and set them off on a run which would see the Magpies win their other three away games. Something has to give in the first leg, as Olympiacos have won all four of their home European games this season.

Last updated: 04/03/05 17.19CET

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