"We are favourites to win," said Olympiacos FC coach Míchel, who expects his team to "shine" when they host RSC Anderlecht with a knockout stage berth in sight.
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Confident Olympiacos FC coach Míchel billed his side as favourites for their UEFA Champions League Group C decider at home to RSC Anderlecht on Tuesday.
Needing to match SL Benfica's result to emerge from the group stage for the first time since 2009/10, Míchel backed the Greek title holders to "shine" in the absence of leading scorer Kostas Mitroglou and defender Giannis Maniatis. The former Spanish international is remaining grounded, however, and does not anticipate any festive generosity from Anderlecht, who are eager to atone for their 3-0 reverse in October's corresponding fixture according to John van den Brom
• Olympiacos have head-to-head superiority over Benfica so will definitely progress with a victory or if Benfica lose.
We deserve to qualify, but we have to finish what we started tomorrow. The players have worked very hard and possess the experience to understand the importance of the match. Our fans won't allow us to forget how vital the game is. We will play to win – to go through in front of our own fans is more than we could have wished for before the group stage started. The key will be the passion and heart that both teams are prepared to give.
We wouldn't mind a repeat of the first game in Brussels. We expect all our players to shine tomorrow. Even without Kostas Mitroglou and Giannis Maniatis, we can adapt. We're not expecting any gifts from Anderlect, we only expect them at Christmas. We respect Anderlecht but we are favourites to win. A great club like Anderlecht will come here to play football, they won't be on holiday yet.
Saturday: Olympiacos 2-0 Asteras Tripolis FC (Domínguez 74pen, Olaitan 89)
Roberto; Torres (Papazoglou 46), Papadopoulos, Siovas, Holebas; Machado, Samaris; Campbell, Domínguez, Fuster (Weiss 60); Šćepović (Olaitan 69).
• Olympiacos extended their winning run at home to seven games in all competitions; they have kept four straight clean sheets at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium.
The injured Maniatis is suspended anyway, while Mitroglou is out until 2014 with a foot injury.
John van den Brom, coach
Just because we're resigned to finishing bottom, doesn't mean we're not going to play to win. We lost 3-0 at home despite giving one of our best performances. We have to look to the future, so playing well tomorrow is important for morale ahead of our domestic run-in. We played well at the weekend and will more or less use the same players tomorrow. The players are proud people, they want to make amends for the first game and collect points which will help us in future competition draws.
Saturday: Anderlecht 2-0 Waasland-Beveren (Mitrović 33, Vargas 65)
Proto; Vanden Borre, Kouyaté, Mbemba, N’Sakala; Praet (Acheampong 69), Kljestan (Tielemans 69), Gillet; Najar, Mitrović, Bruno (Vargas 41).
• Anderlecht returned to winning ways following their midweek penalties defeat by KVC Westerlo in the Belgian Cup last 16. Ronald Vargas sealed Saturday's victory with his first goal since December last year.
Matías Suárez (knee) remains sidelined while Olivier Deschacht looks set to miss the Olympiacos match because of an ankle complaint sustained during the warm-up at the weekend. The already suspended Massimo Bruno picked up a groin problem.
• Mitroglou scored a hat-trick when the sides met on matchday two, the first by a Greek player in the competition.