Olympiacos CFP and SL Benfica meet for the first time in 25 years on Matchday 3, with both sides eager to get their UEFA Cup Group B campaigns up and running having made indifferent starts.
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Olympiacos CFP and SL Benfica meet for the first time in 25 years on Matchday 3 and each will be eager to get their UEFA Cup Group B campaigns up and running after indifferent starts.
• Both sides need to get points on the board if they are to reach the knockout stages. Olympiacos lost to Galatasaray AŞ in their only pool game to date, while Benfica drew 1-1 at Hertha BSC Berlin on Matchday 1 before a 2-0 defeat at home against the Turkish champions.
• This will be Olympiacos and Benfica's fifth meeting in UEFA club competition, though 25 years have passed since they last came together.
• Their four games to date have produced three wins for Benfica and one for Olympiacos. In their two fixtures in Greece each team has picked up a 1-0 win.
• Benfica beat Olympiacos 2-0 on aggregate in a 1973/74 European Champion Clubs' Cup first-round tie, while the overall score was 3-1 in the Portuguese side's favour in a 1983/84 second-round tie in the same competition.
• Including those four games against Benfica, Olympiacos have played ten matches against Portuguese opposition, winning four, drawing one and losing five. They have won their last four home games against Liga opponents having lost the first.
• Benfica have played eight games against Greek sides in total, winning five and losing three. They have won two and lost two of their matches in Greece itself.
• Both sides are led by Spanish coaches. Former Athletic Club Bilbao and RCD Espanyol coach Ernesto Valverde took over at Olympiacos this summer, while Quique Sánchez Flores, who has previously had spells at Getafe CF and Valencia CF, is in charge at Benfica.
• Valverde was coach of Espanyol as they beat Benfica in the quarter-finals of the 2006/07 UEFA Cup. His side won 3-2 at home before a 0-0 second-leg draw in Lisbon.
• Raúl Tamudo, Albert Riera and Walter Pandiani scored the goals for Espanyol with Nuno Gomes and Simão replying for Benfica.
• Sánchez Flores, meanwhile, was Valencia coach as they beat Olympiacos twice in the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League group stage, winning 4-2 at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium and 2-0 in Spain.
• The Benfica coach also faced Greek opposition as a player and was a full-back at Valencia as they beat Iraklis FC 2-0 after extra time to win a 1990/91 UEFA Cup first-round tie. However, he did not feature in the first leg in Greece.
• Benfica boast Greek talent in the form of midfielder Kostas Katsouranis, who left AEK Athens FC for Lisbon in 2006. Brazilian goalkeeper Moretto also spent last season on loan at AEK.
• Olympiacos are unbeaten in their last seven UEFA club competition home games, though four of those matches have ended in draws.
• Benfica are without a win in their last four European away fixtures.
• Olympiacos defender Paraskevas Antzas is one booking away from a one-game suspension.
• Galatasaray play FC Metalist Kharkiv in the other Group B tie on Matchday 3, with Hertha the only side in the section not in action.