Trailing their second-placed opponents by five points in Group H, László Bölöni has vowed R. Standard de Liège will take the game to Olympiacos FC as they bid to preserve their hopes of advancing.
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László Bölöni has vowed R. Standard de Liège will take the game to Olympiacos FC from the outset with his side bottom of UEFA Champions League Group H and trailing their second-placed opponents by five points. With victory essential if his team are to stand any chance of reaching the last 16, Bölöni will ask his players to create a "spectacle" for the passionate home support but is wary of being caught on the break by rivals who can "wait patiently to see how the game unfolds".
László Bölöni, Standard coach
There are two or three players doubtful [because of illness] and they will undergo late tests. I have watched our match in Greece where we played very well, made good chances and caused a lot of difficulties for the Greek champions. Unfortunately, [the 2-1 defeat on 20 October] did not bring us any points so Arsenal and Olympiacos lead the group and we have to do something to change that. We are going to create a spectacle and I hope I can be satisfied when it's over. Because Olympiacos won the home match, they can approach this one like they are sitting in a comfortable chair. They can wait patiently to see how the game unfolds and then adjust their tactics accordingly.
Zico, Olympiacos coach
This is a huge match for us because we can qualify for the knockout rounds with a good result. It is also a vital game for Standard. For them the result is probably even more important because they almost certainly need a win to stay in contention. Obviously I would prefer to win, but a draw would also do for me as we would then have seven points. I expect Standard to attack from the start, yet we are prepared for that. As a player, I never played against Belgium or a Belgian team, but I do know Jean-Marie Pfaff, who was a fantastic keeper, and as a coach I also knocked out Anderlecht in the Champions League qualifying round with Fenerbahçe.
30/10/09 R. Excelsior Mouscron 0-0 Standard
• Axel Witsel's return after an eight-match ban, following his red card against RSC Anderlecht on 30 August, failed to inspire Standard who have not won over 90 minutes in five outings.
• It was Standard's seventh draw in 13 Belgian top-flight games, and only the second time they have been shut out in any competition this term.
31/10/09 Atromitos FC 0-1 Olympiacos
• Olympiacos's seventh successive league victory was also their eighth in as many away matches in Greece's Super League.
• Antonis Nikopolidis and Olof Mellberg have not missed a minute of Olympiacos's league campaign.
Out: Steven Defour (foot), Cédric Collet (broken toe), Wilfried Dalmat (shin), Gohi Bi Cyriac (thigh), Moussa Traore (thigh)
Doubtful: Victor Ramos (hamstring), Sinan Bolat (finger), Benjamin Nicaise (illness), Landry Mulemo (illness)
Misses next match if booked: none
• Igor De Camago is fit after a broken toe
Out: Matt Derbyshire (groin), Leonardo (knee), Diogo (ankle), Jaouad Zairi (groin), Vassilis Torosidis (knee), Leonidas Panagopoulos (back), Andreas Vasilogiannis (cruciate ligaments)
Misses next match if booked: none
• Standard lost 2-1 in Piraeus on Matchday 3 when Kostas Mitroglou (43) and Ieroklis Stoltidis (90+3) responded to De Camargo's 37th-minute opener to give Olympiacos victory. It was the teams' first official meeting and just the second time either had been involved in a competitive tie against a club from their rivals' country.
• In Standard's first game in the group, they raced into a 2-0 lead inside five minutes at home to Arsenal FC before subsiding to a 3-2 defeat. Olympiacos, meanwhile, went down 2-0 at Arsenal in their only away fixture so far, although home successes against AZ Alkmaar and Standard have taken Zico's team second in the standings, one point behind the English side.
Did you know?
Olympiacos have to go back 35 years for their only previous competitive visit to Belgium and it is not an occasion they will recall with satisfaction. They crashed 5-1 at Anderlecht in the European Champion Clubs' Cup second round and, despite winning the home leg 3-0, were duly eliminated.
For more background on the match in the official press kit, click here.