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Fearless Míchel targets United upset

Olympiacos FC's tie with Manchester United FC will be a "celebration of football", says coach Míchel, while Red Devils assistant Steve Round expects a "tough" encounter.

Background: Olympiacos FC v Manchester United FC ©Getty Images

Olympiacos FC coach Míchel is looking forward to a "celebration of football" when his side meet Manchester United FC in the UEFA Champions League round of 16, but defender Avraam Papadopoulos will not be underestimating the English champions despite their recent domestic slip-ups. United assistant boss Steve Round is happy with the pairing yet knows it will be tough to overcome the Greek Super League leaders who advanced from Group C behind Paris Saint-Germain. 

Míchel, Olympiacos coach
It's a celebration of football for us, particularly to visit a mythical football ground such as Old Trafford. Manchester United are a huge club, a powerful machine and we are in for two very tough matches. We respect Manchester United but our aim is to become like them one day.

Call me crazy, but I fear no opponents. We will try to look them in the eye and assess our chances. I will repeat what I said in August, when nobody gave us a chance to qualify: we will keep on trying to stay alive in the competition.

Christian Karembeu, Olympiacos strategic adviser
We have been drawn with a very big club, three-times winners of the competition. Sir Alex Ferguson is not there any more, but his winning philosophy is still palpable at Old Trafford. Hopefully our fans will galvanise the team in the home leg where our only aim is victory. We must keep errors to a minimum, because at this level they come at a huge price.

Avraam Papadopoulos, Olympiacos defender
Manchester United have not been perfect in recent months, but that should not sidetrack us. They are experienced and we have to work hard in order to cope with the high requirements of this tie. We have room for improvement and in two months' time we will be even better.

Steve Round, United assistant manager
It was a good draw for us. You earn the right to have a more favourable draw because you win the group, so the hard work's been done. But it is a Champions League game, and no Champions League game is ever easy. Olympiacos have earned the right to be there by progressing through the group so they will be a good team and it is certainly not a game we will take lightly. It is going to be a tough game but one we hope we will prevail in.

John Alexander, Manchester United club secretary 
If you look at the ties Arsenal and City got, that shows why you have got to win the group. Whoever came out of the pot would have been a good one to draw. To have had four positive results [against Olympiacos in the past] is good going forward. United is a big club in Greece so we will have a good following over there.