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Arsenal's sights now set on Olympiacos

Published: Thursday 15 September 2011, 8.45CET
Arsenal FC began last season's UEFA Champions League with a 6-0 home victory and they kick off in London against Olympiacos FC, whose record in England does not inspire confidence.
Arsenal's sights now set on Olympiacos
Arsenal captain Robin van Persie celebrates his matchday one goal ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics


Goals scored10
Attempts on target39
Attempts off target17
Fouls committed101
Yellow cards17
Red cards0
Published: Thursday 15 September 2011, 8.45CET

Arsenal's sights now set on Olympiacos

Arsenal FC began last season's UEFA Champions League with a 6-0 home victory and they kick off in London against Olympiacos FC, whose record in England does not inspire confidence.

Arsenal FC's first home game in last season's competition produced a 6-0 victory and Olympiacos FC will be on their guard on matchday two, especially as they have conceded plenty of goals in England.

• The Gunners were denied three matchday one points by a late Borussia Dortmund goal and had to settle for a 1-1 draw away to the German champions, while Olympiacos lost 1-0 at home to Olympique de Marseille.

Previous meetings
• The teams were also paired together in the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League group stage. Two goals inside the final 12 minutes from Robin van Persie and Andrey Arshavin gave the Gunners a 2-0 victory at the Arsenal Stadium in the first meeting. The return fixture went the way of the Greek side thanks to Leonardo's lone strike early in the second half.

• The lineups for the meeting in north London on 29 September 2009 were:
Mannone, Eboué, Vermaelen, Gallas, Clichy, Diaby (Vela 77), Fàbregas, Rosický (Eduardo 66), Song, Arshavin, Van Persie (Ramsey 85).
Olympiacos: Nikopolidis, Mellberg, Diogo, Zairi (Stoltidis 46), Żewłakow, Raúl Bravo, Dudu, A Papadopoulos, Leonardo (Óscar González 83), Ledesma (Mitroglou 79), Torosidis.

• Arsenal are unbeaten at home against Greek opponents, winning five and drawing two. Overall they have lost just three of 12 fixtures with six wins and three draws.

• Olympiacos have lost all nine away games against English sides, conceding 29 times and scoring just once. That sole goal came at Anfield in a 3-1 defeat at Liverpool FC on matchday six of the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League.

• Olympiacos have won just three of 18 fixtures with English sides, losing 12.

Match background
• Arsenal – who finished fourth in last season's Premier League – owed their participation to a play-off victory, the fifth time in six seasons they have come through a qualifying round. Theo Walcott gave the London side a narrow home first-leg victory against Udinese Calcio. Although that was wiped out by Antonio Di Natale's first-half header at the Stadio Friuli, Van Persie restored Arsenal's aggregate advantage and, after Wojciech Szczęsny had brilliantly saved a Di Natale penalty, Walcott clinched progress.

• Last season Arsenal reached the round of 16 where they went down 4-3 on aggregate to eventual champions FC Barcelona. It was the 11th successive season they had made it through the group and the first time since 2006/07 they had failed to reach the quarter-finals or better.

• At home in the group stage Arsène Wenger's team embarked on a goal spree, following a 6-0 win against SC Braga with a 5-1 defeat of FC Shakhtar Donetsk. They finished by beating FK Partizan 3-1.

• Olympiacos are in their 13th participation in the UEFA Champions League having missed out last season. Between 1997 and 2008 they competed in 11 successive years.

• In 2009/10 the Greek champions finished second in their group, three points behind Arsenal. On their travels they failed to score a single goal, also going down 2-0 at R Standard de Liège before a 0-0 stalemate at AZ Alkmaar. In the knockout rounds, they lost 1-0 to FC Girondins de Bordeaux in Athens and 2-1 away, Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh scoring for Bordeaux in the second leg.

Team ties
• On 19 August 2006 Olof Mellberg, then with Aston Villa FC, became the first player to score a competitive goal at Arsenal's new stadium. The game ended 1-1, one of only two points Mellberg picked up in 11 Premier League meetings with the Gunners.

• Bacary Sagna and Rafik Djebbour were together at AJ Auxerre from 2000 to 2003; Abou Diaby joined them in 2002.

• Manuel Almunia and Pablo Orbaiz both started their career at CA Osasuna and played together in the Navarra club's B team in 1998/99.

• Sébastien Squillaci and François Modesto were team-mates at AS Monaco FC for two seasons (2004-06). Modesto was also there with Park Chu-Young from 2008 until 2010.

• Kevin Mirallas and Thomas Vermaelen play together with Belgium's national team.

• Jean Makoun and Alex Song do likewise with Cameroon.

Last updated: 19/09/11 18.20CET