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Olympiacos staying grounded for Benfica visit

Published: Monday 4 November 2013, 19.52CET
Olympiacos FC coach Míchel warned his side against the dangers of complacency as they seek to consolidate second spot in Group C at home to closest pursuers SL Benfica.
by Paris Ayiomamitis
from Athens
Olympiacos staying grounded for Benfica visit
Míchel urged his Olympiacos players to remain grounded ©AFP/Getty Images

Tournament statistics


Goals scored12
Possession (%)47
Total attempts97
on target56
off target41
against woodwork2
Yellow cards21
Red Cards0
Fouls committed119
Fouls suffered130

Press kits

  • Match press kit (local language)
Published: Monday 4 November 2013, 19.52CET

Olympiacos staying grounded for Benfica visit

Olympiacos FC coach Míchel warned his side against the dangers of complacency as they seek to consolidate second spot in Group C at home to closest pursuers SL Benfica.

Olympiacos FC's Míchel says his charges must exhibit a combination of passion and focus to post a positive result at home to SL Benfica in UEFA Champions League Group C.

The Greek title holders drew 1-1 in the corresponding fixture to remain above third-placed Benfica by virtue of a superior goal difference, and their Spanish coach would be content with a similar performance. By contrast, Benfica boss Jorge Jesus is striving for improvement from the visitors after putting in the hard yards in training.

Míchel, coach
We must avoid being over-confident. All we have to do is follow the same path as we did in Lisbon and [get a] win. We are only thinking about the present, though, and not the future. We start from scratch tomorrow and will do all we can to come away with three points. We want to show some passion after recording a decent result in Lisbon. 

We are up against a club with a great history and must not think ourselves as favourites. We have worked a lot on set pieces and can't afford to switch off. We must be completely focused and play as a team. [Kostas] Mitroglou is a very important player for us and we are relying on him.

Weekend result
Saturday: Panathinaikos 0-1 Olympiacos (Mitroglou 90)
Roberto; Salino, Manolas, Siovas, Holebas; Maniatis, Samaris; Campbell (Yatabaré 61), Saviola (Weiss 66), Fuster (N'Dinga 90+2); Mitroglou.

• In-form Mitroglou was the derby hero and now has 13 goals in nine league matches. It stretched Olympiacos's unbeaten run away from home in the league to 27 games, two off their own Greek record of 29 set between 1972 and 1974.

Team news
Michael Olaitan picked up a hamstring injury on Wednesday and is expected to return after the upcoming international break. On the other hand, Gaëtan Bong (right foot and left hamstring), Paulo Machado (knee) and Alejandro Domínguez (thigh) all came through training on Sunday.

Jorge Jesus, coach
There are no favourites as both teams have similar strengths. It's not the first time we'll be playing in front of a passionate crowd – we do it regularly in Portugal. Each match is different but we'll play to win tomorrow. We'll reinforce our midfield like we've been doing recently.

To win, we'll have to play better than we did in Lisbon and apply what we've been working hard on in training. We dream of playing in the Champions League final especially given that it's in Lisbon. Perhaps there are teams whose dreams have more credibility than ours, though.

Weekend result
Friday: A. Académica de Coimbra 0-3 Benfica (Cardozo 34, Marcelo Goiano og 36, Marković 86)

Artur; Pereira, Luisão, Garay, Cortez; Matić, Cavaleiro (Marković 64), Pérez, Gaitán; Lima (Amorim 74), Cardozo (Rodrigo 90).

• Benfica kept a second straight clean sheet in the league for the first time this season at a venue where they have not lost since December 1973.

Team news
• Guillherme Siqueira missed the match against Académica due to a problem with his left thigh but should be OK to face Olympiacos.

Match fact
• Javier Saviola spent three seasons with Benfica from 2009 to 2012, winning the Portuguese title in 2009/10 and the League Cup three times. In 122 matches he scored 39 goals.

Last updated: 04/11/13 23.18CET