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Míchel preaches positivity ahead of United test

Published: Monday 24 February 2014, 19.58CET
Olympiacos FC coach Míchel vowed to "do everything in our power" to defeat Manchester United FC in their last-16 opener, with David Moyes braced for a "tough" match.
by Paris Ayiomamiti
from Piraeus

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Tournament statistics

OlympiacosMan. United

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 24 February 2014, 19.58CET

Míchel preaches positivity ahead of United test

Olympiacos FC coach Míchel vowed to "do everything in our power" to defeat Manchester United FC in their last-16 opener, with David Moyes braced for a "tough" match.

Míchel cut an ebullient figure as he spelled out the challenge facing Olympiacos FC in Tuesday's UEFA Champions League round of 16 opener against Manchester United FC in Greece. "I'm delighted to have reached this stage and can't wait for tomorrow's match," enthused the Spanish coach, who backed his charges to ask questions of a United side buoyed by the goalscoring form of Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney.

Míchel, Olympiacos coach

I'm delighted to have reached this stage and can't wait for tomorrow's match. The stakes are high and we won't give anything away. Of course experience counts but we have the ability to overcome our lack of it. The passion we have displayed to get here will serve us well against United and cause them problems. We will do everything in our power to beat them tomorrow night.

We are in better shape than we were two months ago. We have been working hard and everyone is well prepared. The players are extremely motivated and raring to go. United are a top-class team and I will not comment on their form. They cannot afford to make any errors given their position in the Premier League. We also can't afford to give anything less than 100%.

Weekend result
Saturday: OFI Crete FC 0-4 Olympiacos
(Machado 39, Šćepović 42 52 88)
Roberto; Salino, Papadopoulos, Manolas (Bong 58), Holebas; Machado, Samaris; Campbell, Ibagaza, Fuster (Pelé 62); Saviola (Šćepović 33).

• Marko Šćepović came on for the injured Javier Saviola and scored his first professional hat-trick. Olympiacos are 19 matches unbeaten in all competitions (W16 D3), dating back to November, and have won 24 of their 26 Greek Super League games this term.

Team news
Saviola is out with a thigh problem sustained at the weekend, though Nelson Valdez (ankle) is now available. Giannis Maniatis, Iván Marcano, Delvin N'Dinga, Alejandro Domínguez and Michael Olaitan were all rested on Saturday.

Manchester United
David Moyes, United manager

I really enjoy these games so I'm looking forward to it. Winning the group was a boost, but the game against Olympiacos will be tough. We have to play well to qualify. It's an opportunity to try and win a competition, but we have to get through this tie first.

Rooney and Van Persie are in really good shape and they're both scoring goals in the big games. We are a far better team when they are with us. Olympiacos have done well this season, particularly against Paris Saint-Germain and Benfica. They came through a difficult group so we know it's going to be tough.

Weekend result
Saturday: Crystal Palace FC 0-2 United (Van Persie 62pen, Rooney 68)

De Gea; Smalling, Ferdinand, Vidić, Evra; Fellaini (Fletcher 88), Carrick; Mata, Rooney, Januzaj (Giggs 80); Van Persie (Valencia).

• Wayne Rooney, who agreed a new contract until 2019 on 21 February, made his 300th top-flight appearance for United on Saturday, marking the occasion by becoming only the second player after Frank Lampard to score ten or more Premier League goals in ten consecutive seasons.

Team news
Jonny Evans (calf) and Phil Jones (concussion) have not travelled to Piraeus but "everybody else is here," Moyes confirmed.

Match fact
• United have won all four of the clubs' past encounters, which came in the 2001/02 and 2002/03 first group stages. Ryan Giggs has featured every time, scoring three goals.

Last updated: 25/02/14 15.19CET

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