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Olympiacos CFP captain Predrag Djordjević believes calmness is the key to overcoming S.S. Lazio in Tuesday's UEFA Champions League Group C opener at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium.
After Olympiacos won the Greek title for the tenth time in eleven seasons last term, expectations are high that this time the Piraeus giants can replicate their domestic dominance in Europe's premier club competition. Djordjević, 35, is the sole survivor of the team that lined up against Juventus in the 1998/99 quarter-finals – the only time Olympiacos have escaped the group stage – and he is keen for a long-awaited repeat. "Each year we have begun with a lot of pressure, but this year we will begin with a lot more calm," said the former Serbia midfielder. "It's a new challenge and we are not feeling pressure. We will try to enjoy the competition."
Ready and rested
Djordjević has been struggling with injury of late but he is likely to feature against Lazio, in what will be Olympiacos's first competitive outing since their goalless Super League draw at Panathinaikos FC on 2 September. A combination of the international break and national elections explains the gap, yet the Olympiacos skipper insists he and his team-mates are ready. "We do not have games in our legs but the team are thoroughly prepared," Djordjević said. "A lot of new players have arrived and the team need time to get to know each other. There is always a little pressure in the first game but I believe we will be ready."
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