Olympiacos CFP gave Real Madrid CF a scare in Spain and they will hope to produce more of the same when Group C's top two sides meet again in Greece on Matchday 4.
Olympiacos CFP gave Real Madrid CF a real scare before succumbing 4-2 in the Spanish capital on Matchday 3 and they will be hoping to produce a similar performance on home soil – but with a more positive outcome this time.
• Although the Greek champions lost Vassilis Torosidis to a red card after just 13 minutes at the Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid had to wait until the final ten minutes before securing a victory that put them three points clear of their opponents at the Group C summit.
• Indeed Olympiacos led 2-1 midway through the second period, after goals from Luciano Galletti (7 minutes) and Julio Cesar (47) had overturned Raul González's opener (2). Yet Madrid eventually won out through strikes from Robinho (68, 83) and Javier Ángel Balboa (90+3).
• Olympiacos nevertheless remain well placed to progress from the group stage for the first time since the 1998/99 season when they reached the quarter-finals.
• Panagiotis Lemonis's men sit a point clear of third-placed Werder Bremen and might take heart from the fact that Madrid have never won in Greece. Moreover, the Spanish champions have won only three of their last 13 away matches in the UEFA Champions League.
• Olympiacos opened their campaign with a 1-1 home draw with S.S. Lazio – Galletti on target – and then prevailed 3-1 at Bremen thanks to goals in the closing 17 minutes from Ieroklis Stoltidis, Christos Patsatzoglou and Darko Kovačević. It was their first away victory in the UEFA Champions League in 32 attempts.
• For their part, Bernd Schuster's Madrid beat Bremen 2-1 at home on Matchday 1 thanks to efforts from Raúl and Van Nistelrooy and then earned a 2-2 draw at Lazio, where Van Nistelrooy found the net twice more.
• Madrid's Raúl and Predrag Djordjević of Olympiacos are survivors of the clubs' first ever encounter on 22 October 1997, a match the Spanish side won 5-1.
• Raúl also featured in the teams' ensuing goalless draw in Greece on 5 November 1997 – a decade and a day before this latest encounter. He has scored four goals in six appearances against Olympiacos, including the 80th-minute equaliser in a 3-3 draw in Greece in the 1999/00 first group stage.
• Madrid's six previous visits to Greece have yielded four draws and two defeats.
• Their most recent trip brought a 2-1 defeat at Olympiacos on 6 December 2005, Erol Bulut and Rivaldo scoring to overturn the first-half lead given Madrid by Sergio Ramos. The result had no bearing on either side's fortunes in that season's group stage with Madrid already through to the next stage and Olympiacos already eliminated.
• The teams' two other past encounters in Piraeus ended in draws: 0-0 on 5 November 1997 and 3-3 on 15 September 1999.
• Until last season, Olympiacos were unbeaten at home against Spanish opposition, having registered five wins and five draws. However, that record ended at the hands of Valencia CF, who triumphed 4-2 on Matchday 1 last season thanks to a hat-trick from former Madrid player Fernando Morientes.
• Olympiacos defender Raúl Bravo needs no briefing on his side's opponents. The Spanish international began his career at Madrid before joining Olympiacos on a four-year contract in July. He made 23 appearances for Madrid in the UEFA Champions League and was part of their Spanish title-winning squad in 2006/07.
• Two other Olympiacos players familiar to Madrid fans are ex-Real Sociedad de Fútbol striker Kovacević and Argentinian forward Galletti, formerly with Real Zarazoga and Club Atlético de Madrid. Indeed Kovacević was a regular scorer against Madrid during his two spells with 'la Real' – his goals including the opener in a 4-1 home defeat for the Merengues in the final match of the 2003/04 season.
• Madrid coach Schuster was a player in the Atlético side that eliminated Olympiacos from the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals in the 1992/93 season, winning 3-1 in the Spanish capital after a 1-1 draw in Greece.