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Arsenal and Olympiacos meet again

Arsenal FC and Olympiacos FC will hold few secrets from each other when they meet in London having been paired in the same group for the third time in four seasons.

Arsenal made a fine start on matchday one
Arsenal made a fine start on matchday one ©Getty Images

Arsenal FC and Olympiacos FC will hold few surprises when the teams meet in the UEFA Champions League group stage for the third time in four seasons.

• While Arsenal opened Group B by coming from behind to win 2-1 at Montpellier Hérault SC, Olympiacos went down at home to FC Schalke 04 by the same scoreline.

Previous meetings
• This was also the fixture on matchday two last season, Arsenal winning 2-1. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain marked his UEFA Champions League debut with an early goal and André Santos scored his first for the club to secure the points despite David Fuster's 27th-minute response.

• The lineups in north London on 28 September 2011 were:
 Szczęsny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Rosický, Arteta, André Santos, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Ramsey 68), Song, Arshavin (Gibbs 83), Frimpong, Chamakh (Van Persie 71).
Olympiacos: Costanzo, Mellberg, Ibagaza, Fejsa, Djebbour, Mirallas (Abdoun 75), Fuster (Pantelić 80), Holebas, Marcano, Orbaiz (Modesto 75), Torossidis.

• Arsène Wenger's team also came out on top in the 2009/10 group stage, Robin van Persie and Andrey Arshavin scoring in the last 12 minutes for a 2-0 victory on matchday two.

• In both seasons the reverse fixture was won by Olympiacos, who were 3-1 victors in Piraeus last season with Rafik Djebbour, Fuster and François Modesto on target. Leonardo scored the only goal of the December 2009 encounter.

Match background
• Arsenal, who finished third in the 2011/12 Premier League, are taking part in the group stage for the 15th season in a row. For only the second time in seven campaigns they did not have to negotiate a qualifying round.

• In 2011/12 Arsenal departed in the round of 16 for the second season in a row. It was the 12th successive time that they had made it through the group and only the second campaign since 2006/07 that they had failed to reach the quarter-finals or better.

• Wenger's side won four of their five home games in last season's competition, the exception a 0-0 draw with Olympique de Marseille on matchday four. Apart from the victory over Olympiacos they also saw off Udinese Calcio in the play-off round 1-0 and Borussia Dortmund 2-1 in the group stage before beating AC Milan 3-0 in the round of 16 second leg, bowing out having lost 4-0 in Italy.

• Olympiacos are in their 14th participation in the UEFA Champions League, reaching the round of 16 in 2007/08 and 2009/10. They lost two away games in last season's group stage, going down 1-0 at Dortmund in addition to the Arsenal reverse, but won 1-0 at Marseille on matchday five to help them finish third in Group F.

Team ties
• Bacary Sagna and Djebbour were team-mates at AJ Auxerre from 2000 to 2003, Abou Diaby joining them in 2002.

• Ariel Ibagaza and Santi Cazorla played together at Villarreal CF from 2008 until 2010. Fuster joined them in 2009/10 after a one-season loan at Elche CF.

• Sébastien Squillaci and Modesto were team-mates at AS Monaco FC from 2004 to 2006.

• Roy Carroll recorded a win, a draw and a defeat in three games at Arsenal for Manchester United FC. He was also on the winning side in the 2003/04 FA Cup semi-final against the Gunners but in the following season's showpiece Arsenal won 5-4 on penalties after a goalless 120 minutes.

• Wenger's Monaco lost to Olympiacos 2-1 on aggregate in the 1992/93 European Cup Winners' Cup second round.

• Marouane Chamakh scored FC Girondins de Bordeaux's second goal in a 2-1 win at home to Olympiacos in the second leg of a UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie on 17 March 2010 to confirm progress.

• Per Mertesacker was part of the SV Werder Bremen team which lost 3-1 at home to Olympiacos on 3 October 2007, their first away win in the UEFA Champions League at the 32nd attempt. Vassilis Torossidis played for the visitors, whose third goal was scored by Darko Kovačević, now the club's technical director.

• Wojciech Szczęsny was sent off for co-hosts Poland in the 69th minute of UEFA EURO 2012's opening match against Greece. Giannis Maniatis, Torossidis and José Holebas all featured for Greece in a 1-1 draw.

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