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Olympiacos CFP coach Temuri Ketsbaia is determined that his Greek titleholders "remain focused" as they look to build on their 2-0 first-leg advantage at home to Moldovan visitors FC Sheriff.
Temuri Ketsbaia, Olympiacos coach
It's our job and we're professionals, so we are obliged to take every game seriously and to try to win it. Sheriff's run so far is proof that they deserve to be here so we must remain focused. We're very close to the group stage and we have to stay serious to make sure that we go through. Tomorrow our goal is to play good football, to score goals and get the win.
Andrey Sosnitski, Sheriff assistant coach
We understand the difficulty of the task we face – after losing 2-0 at home to Olympiacos, the press have made them the favourites. But we've not come here just for the trip. We will play the football that got us to this stage and gave us the chance to play against a team like Olympiacos. We will show our strengths on the pitch and try to get the result we want. We know Olympiacos are a great team with lots of supporters. The fans will support their players, but we're ready for it.
• Second-half goals from Dudu and Kostas Mitroglou have left the Greek titleholders with a 2-0 advantage from the away leg and strongly placed to progress against opponents seeking to create history by becoming Moldova's first group-stage representatives.
• Sheriff have it all to do to retrieve a two-goal deficit away to opponents who have won the last 12 European ties where they held a first-leg advantage. Not since the 1983/84 season and a European Champion Clubs' Cup second-round loss to SL Benfica have the Greek side surrendered a first-leg lead.
• Sheriff's history in UEFA club competition does not augur well for Leonid Kuchuk's visitors. They have lost twice before in the first leg and on both occasions failed to recover in the decider. In the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League second qualifying round they lost 1-0 at home to AC Sparta Praha en route to a 3-0 aggregate defeat. At the same stage six years earlier they went down 4-1 at home to Grazer AK and finished up 6-1 aggregate losers.
• Prior to losing to Cypriot side Anorthosis Famagusta FC in the third qualifying round last season, Olympiacos had competed in the UEFA Champions League group stage for eleven consecutive seasons.
How they reached the play-offs
• Sheriff beat FC International Turku 2-0 on aggregate in the second qualifying round, Alexandru Suvorov scoring from the penalty spot in both legs. They then secured their passage to the play-off round by defeating SK Slavia Praha on away goals following a 1-1 aggregate draw. José Nadson struck the decisive equaliser in Prague three minutes into added time to send the Moldovan champions through.
• Olympiacos entered the competition in the third qualifying round and recorded 2-0 victories both at home and away against ŠK Slovan Bratislava.
Out: Vassilis Torosidis (knee), Giannis Papadopoulos (knee)
Misses next game if booked: Raúl Bravo, Didier Domi, Enzo Maresca
Out: Abdul Mamah (hamstring), José Nadson (knee)
Suspended: Leonid Kuchuk
Misses next match if booked: Benjamin Balima, Vitalie Bulat, Jymmy França, Igor Karpovich, Abdul Mamah, Alexandru Suvorov, Vazha Tarkhnishvili
22/08/09 AEK Athens FC P-P Olympiacos (match postponed due to wildfires in Greece)
22/08/09 Sheriff 0-0 FC Dacia Chişinău (Moldovan Divizia Nationala)
Did you know?
Sheriff have already gone further than ever before in the UEFA Champions League by reaching the play-off round. Prior to this season, they had fallen at the second qualifying stage for eight years running.
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