Olympiacos positive, Arsenal patient for decider
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Marco Silva says Olympiacos will go for victory even though they could lose 1-0 or 2-1 and still inflict Arsenal's first group elimination since 1999/2000; Arsène Wenger is preaching patience.
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- Arsenal must win by any score other than 1-0 or 2-1 to pip Olympiacos to second
- Coach Marco Silva says Olympiacos will go for victory regardless
- Gunners have won seven and lost four of last 13 UEFA Champions League away matches
- Arsenal have not failed to reach last 16 since 1999/2000
- Arsène Wenger: Arsenal may need to be "patient"
Olympiacos: Roberto; Elabdellaoui, Botía, Siovas, Masuaku; Milivojević, Kasami; Sebá, Fortounis, Pardo; Ideye.
Out: Bouchalakis (thigh)
Doubtful: Da Costa (groin), Maniatis (cruciate)
Arsenal: Čech; Bellerín, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Flamini, Ramsey; Campbell, Özil, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Giroud.
Out: Arteta (calf), Cazorla (knee), Coquelin (knee), Rosický (knee), Sánchez (hamstring), Welbeck (knee), Wilshire (calf)
Marco Silva, Olympiacos coach
It is true that tomorrow we have the opportunity to knock out Arsenal. The fact that we [can afford not to win] will not have an impact on us. We don't go into any game thinking we will lose. We want to win every match and that's what we work for.
I don't care which players are missing for Arsenal. We used players for the first time when we went to the Emirates because we had injuries and used young players with no experience but they wanted to win. Why would this be any different for Arsenal? No matter who is playing, they will play to win. I don't believe Arsenal underestimated us in the first match in London. I think that at this level all matches are quite difficult.
Arsène Wenger, Arsenal manager
We have to put in our mind every scenario. If we focus on the performance, the goals will come. Ideally I don't know when we will score but if we play well we will have a chance to score. Ideally, you wouldn't like to be patient but we may need to be. In the Champions League you must attack well and defend well and have the desire to win. At stake is to qualify for the last 16 in Europe. That's what's at stake
We have to give everything to qualify tomorrow and jump over the hurdle. If you want to have a chance to qualify you must be able to jump the hurdle. We're here to qualify. We have a history of positive results, so we know we can do it. To do this, we need a top quality performance tomorrow.
Panthrakikos 3-4 Olympiacos (Diguiny 15 90+1, Iliadis 87; Durmaz 14, Fortounis 48pen, Finnbogason 66pen, Sebá 80)
Sebá scored his first for the Greek champions, with this victory their 12th in a row since the start of the season, breaking a national record set by their 1966/67 side.
Arsenal 3-1 Sunderland (Campbell 33, Giroud 63, Ramsey 90+3; Giroud 45og)
The Gunners moved up to second in the English Premier League, Olivier Giroud atoning for putting the ball past his own keeper by heading in their second. Theo Walcott played his first game since October and had a hand in Arsenal's third.
Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)
Reporter's view: Vassiliki Papantonopoulou (@UEFAcomVassP)
This is the UEFA Champions League at its best. Olympiacos can advance to the last 16 with a victory, a draw or even a 1-0 or 2-1 defeat. A loss by any other scoreline will put the Gunners through to the knockout stage for a 13th consecutive time. Intensity and excitement are guaranteed as qualification goes down to the wire at a packed stadium – tickets sold out in just three hours.
Did you know?
Olympiacos won all three home fixtures in last season's group phase; find out more in our extensive match background.