UEFA Champions League - 2019/20 SeasonMatch press kits
|Olympiacos FC||Stadio Georgios Karaiskakis - PiraeusWednesday 18 September 2019|
18.55CET (19.55 local time) Group B - Matchday 1
Olympiacos return to the UEFA Champions League after a season away with a challenging home game against last season's runners-up, Tottenham Hotspur.
• While the Greek club's most recent competition appearance came in 2017/18, Spurs went all the way to the final last time out, winning memorable knockout ties against Manchester City and Ajax only to lose to Liverpool in the all-English final in Madrid.
• The clubs' only previous fixtures came 47 years ago, in the 1972/73 UEFA Cup second round. Holders Spurs effectively sealed progress with a 4-0 win at White Hart Lane, Jimmy Pearce scoring twice with Martin Chivers and Ralph Coates also on target; a Roman Arguroidis goal gave Olympiacos some pride via a 1-0 second-leg victory.
• The Greek side last took part in the group stage in 2017/18, when they finished bottom of a section including Barcelona, Juventus and Sporting CP having collected only one point from their six fixtures.
• In 2018/19 Olympiacos went from the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round to the round of 32 thanks to a memorable matchday six defeat of AC Milan in Piraeus. They were unable to get past Dynamo Kyiv in the first knockout round, however, going out 3-2 on aggregate (2-2 h, 0-1 a).
• Second in the 2018/19 Greek Super League behind PAOK, Pedro Martins' side are unbeaten with just one goal conceded in this season's UEFA Champions League, having kicked off in the second qualifying round. They beat Viktoria Plzeň (0-0 a, 4-0 h) and İstanbul Başakşehir in the third qualifying round (1-0 a, 2-0 h) before overcoming Krasnodar in the play-offs (4-0 h, 2-1 a).
• This season's successes have made it nine home European games without defeat for Olympiacos (W7 D2), since a 2-0 loss against Juventus on matchday six of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League.
• Olympiacos have won five of their last six home fixtures against English visitors, most recently defeating Burnley 3-1 in last season's UEFA Europa League play-off first leg (1-1 a).
• Fourth in the 2018/19 Premier League, this is Tottenham's fifth UEFA Champions League campaign, and a fourth successive group stage appearance.
• In last season's competition, Mauricio Pochettino's side recovered from taking one point from their first three games to finish second in Group B behind Barcelona, ahead of Internazionale and PSV Eindhoven, via a 1-1 draw at the Camp Nou on matchday six. Borussia Dortmund were then brushed aside in the round of 16 (3-0 h, 1-0 a) before dramatic away-goal victories against both Manchester City (1-0 h, 3-4 a) and Ajax (0-1 h, 3-2 a) took Spurs into a first European Cup final. Premier League rivals Liverpool proved too strong at the Estadio Metropolitano, however, running out 2-0 winners.
• Spurs' record in last season's competition was W6 D2 L5. They lost three of their last four matches.
• The Lilywhites picked up only two points on their travels in the 2018/19 group stage, and have won only three of their 12 away group matches in the UEFA Champions League – and one of the last five.
• The second-leg victory at Ajax in last season's semi-final was only Spurs' sixth win in their last 21 European away matches (D7 L8).
• Spurs' last trip to Greece brought their first victory, a 2-1 success at Asteras Tripolis in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League group stage in which Harry Kane scored the winning goal. That was the London club's fourth trip to Greece (D2 L1).
• Kane had scored his first club hat-trick in Spurs' 5-1 home win against Asteras two weeks earlier.
Links and trivia
• Have played in England:
Omar Elabdellaoui (Hull 2017 (loan))
Andreas Bouchalakis (Nottingham Forest 2017/18 (loan))
• Have played together:
Mathieu Valbuena & Hugo Lloris (France 2010–15)
Mathieu Valbuena & Moussa Sissoko (France 2012–15)
Vasilis Torosidis & Erik Lamela (Roma 2012/13)
Rúben Semedo, Daniel Podence & Eric Dier (Sporting CP 2013/14)
Maximiliano Lovera & Giovani Lo Celso (Rosario 2016)
• Summer transfers
In: Rúben Semedo (Villarreal), Εl Arbi Hillel Soudani (Nottingham Forest)*, Bruno (LASK Linz)*, Svetozar Marković (FK Partizan)*, Mathieu Valbuena (Fenerbahçe), Bobby Allain (Dijon), Youssef El Arabi (al-Duhail), Fiorin Durmishaj (Panionios)*, José Sá (Porto, loan made permanent), Ousseynou Ba (Ajaccio)*, Maximiliano Lovera (Rosario Central), Yassine Benzia (LOSC Lille, loan), Bruno Gaspar (Sporting CP, loan)
Out: Björn Engels (Reims), Dimitris Nikolaou (Empoli), Bibras Natcho (Partizan), Dimitris Goutas (Atromitos), Andreas Gianniotis (Maccabi Tel-Aviv), Igor Silva (Osijek, loan), Giorgos Manthatis (Anorthosis, loan), Dimitris Manos (OFI, loan), Marios Vrousai (Willem II, loan), Franco Soldano (Boca Juniors, loan), Lefteris Choutesiotis (released), Fiorin Durmishaj (Waasland-Beveren, loan), Matías Nahuel (Tenerife), Thanasis Androutsos (Atromitos, loan), Jagoš Vuković (released)
*Not in UEFA Champions League squad
• Mathieu Valbuena's next appearance in UEFA club competition will be his 100th.
• Olympiacos's record this season is W8 D1, with 20 goals scored and only one conceded – in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League play-off against Krasnodar – and wins in their last eight matches, most recently Saturday's 5-0 league success against Volos.
• Olympiacos are unbeaten in their last 17 matches in all competitions (W16 D1). Their last defeat came on 28 February, when they lost 1-0 at home to Lamia in the Greek Cup quarter-final second leg.
• Summer signings Youssef El Arabi and Valbuena scored the winning goals in Olympiacos's first two league games, 1-0 wins against Asteras Tripolis and Larissa respectively.
• Rúben Semedo has undergone arthroscopic surgery after picking up a knee injury during the play-off second leg against Krasnodar.
• Olympiacos captain Kostas Fortounis is expected to be out of action until March 2020 after suffering a knee ligament injury in a pre-season friendly against Hamburg on 10 July.
• Lazaros Christodoulopoulos has been sidelined since 17 February with a cruciate knee ligament injury and has not been included in this season's UEFA Champions League squad. He returned to full training during the recent international break.
• Giorgos Masouras scored his first goal for Greece in a 1-1 draw against Liechtenstein on 8 September.
• Yassine Meriah was part of the Tunisia squad that finished fourth at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations in July, where he was included in the team of the tournament.
• Goalkeeper José Sá was called up by Portugal for the UEFA EURO 2020 qualifiers against Serbia and Lithuania earlier this month, and was an unused substitute in both games.
• Summer transfers
In: Jack Clarke (Leeds), Tanguy Ndombele (Lyon), Kion Etete (Notts County), Giovani Lo Celso (Real Betis, loan), Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham)
Out: Fernando Llorente (Napoli), Kieran Trippier (Atlético Madrid), Michel Vorm (released), Jack Clarke (Leeds, loan), Luke Amos (QPR, loan), Vincent Janssen (Monterrey), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Stoke City, loan), Josh Onomah (Fulham), Georges-Kévin Nkoudou (Beşiktaş), Marcus Edwards (Vitória SC)
• Spurs have won two of their first five Premier League matches this season, both at home, beating Aston Villa 3-1 on the opening day and Crystal Palace 4-0 on Saturday; their record in between was D2 L1.
• Heung-Min Son scored twice against Palace, his first league double since 26 December 2018. His last Spurs goals prior to Saturday were the two he scored at Manchester City in the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg.
• Tottenham have won just two of their last 13 away matches in all competitions (D2 L9), most recently at Ajax in last season's UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg. They have not won away in the Premier League since a 2-1 success at Fulham on 20 January.
• Harry Kane has seven goals in seven appearances for club and country this season.
• Kane scored a hat-trick, including two penalties, in England's 4-0 UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying win against Bulgaria on 7 September and was also on target in a 5-3 defeat of Kosovo three days later, though he missed a spot kick in the latter fixture.
• Toby Alderweireld scored his fourth goal for Belgium in a 4-0 win away to Scotland on 9 September, his 94th international appearance.
• Christian Eriksen scored two penalties and set up another two goals as Denmark beat Gibraltar 6-0 on 5 September.
• Giovani Lo Celso sustained a hip injury during Argentina's 0-0 draw in Chile on 5 September and is expected to be sidelined until the end of October.
• Colombia's Davinson Sánchez (ankle) also picked up an injury on international duty and missed the Palace game.
• Kyle Walker-Peters has been out since 25 August with a thigh injury; Tanguy Ndombele recovered from a similar problem to make his first appearance since 17 August as a second-half substitute on Saturday.
• Summer signing Ryan Sessegnon is yet to play for Spurs due to a thigh injury, while Eric Dier (hip) and Juan Foyth (ankle) have not appeared this season.
The all-time record of the competing clubs in UEFA club competition.
UEFA club competition: These are the official statistics considered valid for communicating official records in UEFA club competition defined as European Champion Clubs' Cup, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Cup Winner's Cup UEFA Super Cup, UEFA Intertoto Cup and European/South American Cup. Matches in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and the 1972 Super Cup are not included as they were not held under UEFA auspices, while the FIFA Club World Cup is excluded.
UCL: Total matches officiated in the UEFA Champions League from 1992/93 season, group stage to final only. Matches where the official has acted as the fourth official are not included in these statistics. These are the official statistics considered valid for communicating official records.
UEFA: Total matches officiated in UEFA club competition including all qualifying round matches. Matches where the official has acted as the fourth official are not included in these statistics. These are the official statistics considered valid for communicating official records.