Olympiacos and Crvena zvezda meet in Greece with third place in Group B, and a UEFA Europa League berth, to be decided.
Article top media content
Olympiacos and Crvena zvezda meet in Piraeus with third place in Group B, and a spot in the UEFA Europa League round of 32, on the line.
• In the sides' first ever meeting the Serbian champions came from behind to beat their Greek rivals 3-1 in Belgrade on Matchday 2 thanks to goals from Miloš Vulić (62), Nemanja Milunović (87) and Richmond Boakye (90) after Rúben Semedo's first-half opener.
• Crvena zvezda have only those three points to their name in the section, but are still two points better off than Olympiacos, who have lost their last four UEFA Champions League matches. Crvena zvezda will therefore finish third if they avoid defeat at Olympiacos, who need to win to overtake their opponents.
• Having come from two goals down to draw 2-2 at home to Tottenham on Matchday 1, the Piraeus club have lost their last four Group B games; after letting slip the lead to lose at Crvena zvezda, they were beaten twice by Bayern München, 3-2 in Greece and 2-0 at home. Last time out Olympiacos again led, this time 2-0 at Spurs, but ultimately went down 4-2.
• Second in the 2018/19 Greek Super League behind PAOK, Pedro Martins' side were unbeaten in this season's UEFA Champions League before losing on Matchday 2, having kicked off in the second qualifying round. They beat Viktoria Plzeň (0-0 a, 4-0 h) and İstanbul Başakşehir in the third qualifying round (1-0 a, 2-0 h) before overcoming Krasnodar in the play-offs (4-0 h, 2-1 a) and then drawing with Spurs.
• The point from Matchday 1 equalled the Greek side's six-match total from their last UEFA Champions League group stage campaign in 2017/18, when they finished bottom of a section including Barcelona, Juventus and Sporting CP.
• Olympiacos's next defeat in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final, will be their 62nd, equalling Porto's competition record.
• In 2018/19 Olympiacos went from the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round to the round of 32 thanks to a memorable Matchday 6 defeat of AC Milan in Piraeus. They were unable to get past Dynamo Kyiv in the first knockout round, however, going out 3-2 on aggregate (2-2 h, 0-1 a).
• The 3-2 defeat by Bayern on Matchday 4 ended a ten-game home unbeaten European run for Olympiacos (W7 D3), since a 2-0 loss against Juventus on Matchday 6 of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League.
• Olympiacos have scored twice in each of their home games against Serbian opponents, a 2-0 defeat of Rad in the 1989/90 UEFA Cup first round (3-2 aggregate) and a 2-2 draw with Partizan in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round (5-3 aggregate).
• The home win against Olympiacos aside, Crvena zvezda have suffered four defeats in Group B. They opened with a 3-0 loss at Bayern before two heavy defeats by Tottenham. A 5-0 away defeat equalled Crvena zvezda's biggest loss in Europe, and a 4-0 reverse in the return fixture two weeks later represented their heaviest home defeat in UEFA competition. Both those records were surpassed on Matchday 5, however, a rampant Bayern running out 6-0 winners in Belgrade.
• Crvena zvezda have conceded 19 goals in their five group games – the most in this season's competition.
• In 2018/19 the Serbian club reached the group stage from the first qualifying round and went on to finish fourth in their group, although they did claim a first UEFA Champions League group stage win for Serbia with a 2-0 home defeat of eventual champions Liverpool on Matchday 4, Milan Pavkov scoring both goals. They also held Napoli 0-0 at home on their Matchday 1 debut, although their last home fixture in the section was a 4-1 loss against Paris.
• This season, Vladan Milojević's side again started their European campaign in the first qualifying round, where they were 2-1 aggregate winners against Sūduva of Lithuania (0-0 a, 2-1 h). They subsequently came through tight ties against HJK Helsinki (2-0 h, 1-2 a) and Copenhagen (1-1 h, 1-1 a, 7-6 pens) before beating Young Boys on away goals in the play-offs (2-2 a, 1-1 h).
• Crvena zvezda have won only four of their last 21 European fixtures (D8 L9). They are ten games without an away victory (D4 L6) since a 2-1 triumph at Spartak Trnava in last season's third qualifying round second leg.
• The Serbian club were beaten 3-0 at Aris Thessaloniki in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup group stage, their last trip to Greece, where they have suffered five defeats in six games. The sole exception was a 2-0 win at Panathinaikos in the 1991/92 European Champion Clubs' Cup third round, when the then holders went on to complete a 3-0 aggregate success.
• European champions in 1991, Crvena zvezda claimed their second successive Serbian league title in 2018/19 and a 30th national championship overall.
Links and trivia
• Crvena zvezda head coach Milojević spent the majority of his playing days in Greece, representing PAS Giannina (1993/94), Kalamata (1994/95), Apollon Smyrni (1996/97 and 2004), Panathinaikos (1997–2000), Iraklis (2000–03) and Akratitos (2003). As a player he faced Olympiacos 14 times, winning only once while suffering ten defeats. He was sent off in an Olympiacos-Panathinaikos derby in December 1997.
• Milojević spent 2016/17 in the Greek Super League at the helm of Panionios, when Giorgos Masouras was in the club's squad. Milojević's Panionios won 1-0 at Olympiacos in February 2017.
• Marko Marin was an Olympiacos player from 2016 to 2018, scoring 12 goals in 59 matches in all competitions.
• Have also played in Greece:
José Cañas (PAOK 2016–19)
Mateo García (Aris 2018/19)
Tomané (Panetolikos 2016)
• Cañas won three successive Greek Cups and the 2018/19 Super League title with PAOK.
• Have played together:
Andreas Bouchalakis, Omar Elabdellaoui, Pape Abou Cissé & Marko Marin (Olympiacos 2016–18)
Pape Abou Cissé & Marko Marin (Olympiacos 2017/18)
Lazar Randjelović & Radovan Pankov (Radnički Niš 2018/19)
Daniel Podence & Jander (Moreirense 2016/17)
Bruno Gaspar & Tomané (Vitória SC 2014–16)
Lazar Randjelović & Srdjan Babić, Milan Gajić (Serbia Under-21s)
• Olympiacos's record this season is now W14 D6 L4, with 43 goals scored and 20 conceded. Fourteen of those goals have been conceded in this season's UEFA Champions League group stage, where Olympiacos have also suffered their only defeats in 2019/20.
• The Piraeus club remain undefeated in this season's Super League (W9 D4), although they have drawn three of their last five games. They were 3-0 winners at Panaitolikos on Saturday.
• Olympiacos's perfect home record in this season's Super League was ended by a 1-1 draw against champions PAOK on 1 December. They had won 15 home league games in a row, since another 1-1 draw, against Panathinaikos, on 11 November 2018.
• Olympiacos have, however, won only two of their last eight away matches in all competitions (D3 L3).
• Olympiacos have conceded just five goals in the first 13 matches of the Super League season and no more than one in any game.
• Mathieu Valbuena suffered a relapse of a right hamstring injury in scoring the penalty equaliser against PAOK; he was sidelined by a similar problem between 18 October, when he sustained it in training, and 2 November, with the PAOK game his first start since 6 October.
• Valbuena is still the oldest player to have scored in this season's UEFA Champions League thanks to his Matchday 1 penalty against Tottenham against 34 years 355 days.
• Pape Abou Cissé has not played since 14 September and spent 17 days in hospital with a respiratory infection. He returned to training in mid-November.
• Olympiacos captain Kostas Fortounis is expected to be out of action until March 2020 after suffering a knee ligament injury in a pre-season friendly against Hamburg on 10 July.
• Lazaros Christodoulopoulos has been sidelined since 17 February with a cruciate knee ligament injury and has not been included in this season's UEFA Champions League squad. He has resumed full training.
• On 23 October, Olympiacos announced that former goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis has been appointed director of their youth academy and will also take charge of the club's Under-19 side.
• Mirko Ivanić's next appearance in UEFA club competition will be his 50th.
• Crvena zvezda have won 17 of their 19 league matches this season, and scored two or more goals in 15 of those victories. They won 3-1 at home to Spartak Subotica on Saturday.
• Their 11-match winning run in the Serbian Super League, including the first six this season, was ended by a 2-0 loss at Partizan in the Belgrade derby on 22 September. Crvena zvezda had suffered only one defeat in their previous 69 league outings, a 3-2 loss at Čukarički on 20 April this year. Their record otherwise was W62 D6 before the loss at Partizan.
• Crvena zvezda have kept three successive clean sheets in the league, and have conceded only twice in their last six Super League games.
• Crvena zvezda have scored 37 goals in their last 13 domestic games.
• 'Red Star' were 8-0 winners away to fourth division Trepča in the Serbian Cup first round on 10 October, Veljko Simić scoring four times – more than in his previous 26 appearances for the club combined.
• Richmond Boakye scored the only goal as Crvena zvezda were 1-0 winners at home to Mačva in the last 16 of the Serbian Cup on 20 November.
• Boakye has not played since that cup game due to a muscle injury.
• Milan Pavkov came on as a late substitute on Saturday, his first outing since suffering an ankle injury against Tottenham on Matchday 4.
• Rajiv van la Parra has a back injury and has not played since 20 November.
• Matchday 5 marked Vladan Milojević's 42nd European game in charge of Crvena zvezda, extending his own Serbian record.