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Schalke seek progress at Olympiacos' expense

FC Schalke 04 have a proud home record to defend and the Group B leaders will be hoping to move nearer a qualifying place when Olympiacos FC come calling on matchday five.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar led the Schalke fightback against Arsenal
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar led the Schalke fightback against Arsenal ©AFP/Getty Images

FC Schalke 04 continued their impressive home record in the UEFA Champions League with a stirring comeback against Arsenal FC and are again seeking to preserve their position at the top of Group B when they play host to Olympiacos FC.

• When the teams met on the opening day in Piraeus, Schalke prevailed 2-1 through Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's winner, the Dutchman also missing a penalty. Benedikt Höwedes had headed Huub Stevens' team ahead before the hosts equalised through Djamel Abdoun.

• The German team were then held 2-2 at home by Montpellier Hérault SC but on matchday three became the first foreign visitors to defeat Arsenal at home since 2003, ending a 45-game unbeaten streak with a 2-0 victory. Schalke looked like suffering a similar fate when Arsenal established a two-goal lead in Gelsenkirchen last time out, but fought back for a 2-2 draw.

• Olympiacos followed their first victory of the campaign away to Montpellier with a 3-1 home triumph on matchday four, the same score by which they had gone down at Arsenal in their second match.

Previous meetings
• This is the second successive season in which Olympiacos have faced German opposition in the group stage. Twelve months ago they lost 1-0 away to Borussia Dortmund, their fourth defeat in their five visits to Bundesliga opposition; they have failed to score in all those losses.

• Their only victory came in the 2007/08 group stage when they won 3-1 at SV Werder Bremen, scoring three goals in the last 17 minutes after falling behind in the first half.

Match background
• Schalke are making their fifth UEFA Champions League appearance and when they were last involved, in 2010/11, they recovered from a opening defeat at Olympique Lyonnais to win seven of their next nine fixtures, including all five at home, before bowing out in the semi-finals against Manchester United FC.

• The German club have lost only two of their last 13 home fixtures in the competition, qualifying included.

• Olympiacos are in their 14th participation in the UEFA Champions League, and reached the round of 16 in 2007/08 and 2009/10. Last season a 1-0 win at Olympique de Marseille followed away defeats at Arsenal (1-2) and Borussia Dortmund (0-1) as they finished third in Group F.

Team ties
• Kyriakos Papadopoulos played for Olympiacos from 2007 until 2010. Aged 15 years and 283 days, he became the youngest player to appear in the Greek league against Atromitos FC on 2 December 2007.

• Papadopoulos plays with Vasilis Torossidis, José Holebas, Avraam Papadopoulos, Dimitrios Siovas, Giannis Maniatis, Kostas Mitroglou and Giannis Fetfatzidis for Greece.

• Ciprian Marica scored the second equaliser for FC Shakhtar Donetsk in a 2-2 home draw with Olympiacos in a UEFA Champions League group stage fixture on 27 September 2006.

• Ibrahim Afellay scored once past half-time substitute Roy Carroll, his second of the game, in the Netherlands' 6-0 win against Northern Ireland in a friendly on 2 June 2012. Huntelaar appeared off the bench for the Dutch.

• Teemu Pukki scored past Carroll as Finland and Northern Ireland drew 3-3 in a friendly on 15 August.

• Marko Pantelić and Marica were both on the scoresheet when Serbia beat Romania 3-2 away and 5-0 at home in qualifying matches for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

• Torossidis scored Greece's winner in a 2-1 defeat of a Nigeria team including Chinedu Obasi in the 2010 World Cup group stage.

• Mitroglou was brought up in Germany and started out with VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach while Holebas was born in Bavaria and began his career with TSV 1860 München. Pantelić was at Hertha BSC Berlin between 2005 and 2009.

• Christian Fuchs scored his only international goal as Austria lost 2-1 to Greece in November 2010; Torossidis, Avraam Papadopoulos and Fetfatzidis, a substitute, were in the opposition.

• Mitroglou scored in Greece's 3-2 victory over Germany in the semi-finals of the 2007 UEFA European Under-19 Championship in Austria. Siovas was a substitute for Greece while Germany included Höwedes.

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