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Olympiacos hope to repeat history

Published: Wednesday 13 August 2008, 2.24CET
Olympiacos CFP will hope history repeats itself when they take on Anorthosis Famagusta FC tonight having defeated the Cypriot side in qualifying ten years ago.
Olympiacos hope to repeat history
Olympiacos hope to repeat their last result against Anorthosis ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

AnorthosisOlympiacos

Goals scored10
 
1
Attempts on target9
 
1
Attempts off target0
1
Corners0
 
0
Offsides0
 
0
Fouls committed1
 
0
Yellow cards8
 
7
Red cards0
 
0
 
Published: Wednesday 13 August 2008, 2.24CET

Olympiacos hope to repeat history

Olympiacos CFP will hope history repeats itself when they take on Anorthosis Famagusta FC tonight having defeated the Cypriot side in qualifying ten years ago.

Olympiacos CFP will hope history repeats itself when they take on Anorthosis Famagusta FC having beaten the Cypriot side in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round ten years ago.

Qualification success
The Pireaus club defeated the islanders 6-3 over two legs to progress to the group stage and an eventual quarter-final against Juventus, the 1998/99 season being the final campaign that only two qualifying rounds were used. That success continued Olympiacos' perfect record in pre-group stage matches following their 7-2 victory against Belarus' FC Slavia Mozyr the previous year which earned Olympiacos their maiden appearance in the group phase. However, despite history favouring the Greeks, coach Ernesto Valverde is cautious ahead of the first leg in Larnaca on Wednesday.    

'All or nothing'
"The two encounters against Anorthosis are very important for us," said the Spaniard, who left RCD Espanyol in the close season to join Olympiacos. "They won't be easy because our opponents are also looking forward to participating in the group stage. In these matches, there's the motto 'all or nothing'. If we qualify, everything will be OK. If not … zero. We have to complete our signings and dedicate ourselves to the preparation for these two ties."

'Fell to pieces'
Anorthosis' football academy director Nicos Panagiotou has vivid memories of the setback a decade ago when an inexperienced lineup scored first in the second leg to level the tie before going on to lose 4-2 on the night. "There were two things that cost us in the game; lack of European experience and over-enthusiasm," Panagiotou told uefa.com. "After getting the away goal in the first leg, we went ahead in the second leg at home. We got carried away when we scored first because we all felt that we were close to qualifying for the group stage but after Olympiacos equalised we just fell to pieces."

'Big' games
After bringing in 2000 UEFA Champions League winner Sávio from Levante UD and UEFA EURO 2004™ champion Traianos Dellas from AEK Athens FC, Panagiotou feels the current crop of players are better equipped to handle such an occasion. "Anorthosis today have far more players that have that experience of playing big European games." However, as Olympiacos will need no reminding, the experience of a decade ago seems to favour the Greek side.

Last updated: 13/08/08 20.16CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2009/matches/round=15275/match=303812/prematch/preview/index.html#olympiacos+hope+repeat+history

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