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Olympiacos within sight of Rubin success

Having won 1-0 in Russia, Olympiacos FC welcome FC Rubin Kazan to Piraeus with the winners in their UEFA Europa League tie to take on FC Salzburg or FC Metalist Kharkiv in the round of 16.

Roy Carroll (left) saved a penalty with his first touch
Roy Carroll (left) saved a penalty with his first touch ©Getty Images

David Fuster's deflected shot in Russia has given Olympiacos FC a 1-0 advantage as they look to reach the UEFA Europa League round of 32 at the expense of FC Rubin Kazan.

• Olympiacos hit the winner after 71 minutes in Moscow, but the hero of the match was Northern Irish goalkeeper Roy Carroll, who saved a penalty with his first touch for his new club 14 minutes from time, having replaced Balázs Megyeri – who had been sent off for conceding the spot kick.

Previous meetings
• The clubs have been paired for the first time in UEFA competition.

• Olympiacos's only experience of Russian opposition prior to this season came in 1971 when they lost 2-0 at home and won 2-1 away against FC Dinamo Moskva in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup first round.

• All four of Rubin's meetings with Greek sides prior to this term have ended in draws − two 0-0s against Panathinaikos FC in the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League group stage and a 2-2 draw at home and a 1-1 away against PAOK FC in this season's UEFA Europa League group stage.

Match background
• Olympiacos moved into the UEFA Europa League despite winning three of their last four games in the UEFA Champions League group stage.

• The Greek champions last featured in the round of 32 in 2008/09, losing to an AS Saint-Étienne side featuring Belgian attacker Kevin Mirallas, now at the Piraeus club.

• They were more successful in their only other appearance at this stage, in 2004/05 − the first season since the advent of the UEFA Cup group stage − beating FC Sochaux Montbéliard but losing to Newcastle United FC in the round of 16.

• Rubin are in the round of 32 for a third season in succession; they overcame Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC at this stage in 2009/10 but bowed out to VfL Wolfsburg in the round of 16. They then succumbed to FC Twente last term.

Team facts
• Rubin are at the most dangerous side in the competition in the 15 minutes after the interval; six of their ten goals since the beginning of the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League group stage have come between the 46th and 60th minutes.

• Rubin defender César Navas and his Olympiacos counterpart Iván Marcano were team-mates at Real Racing Club from 2007 to 2009.

• Rubin's Gökdeniz Karadeniz came up against Olympiacos's Pablo Orbaíz when Trabzonspor AŞ met an Athletic Club side led by Ernesto Valverde in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup first round. Gökdeniz scored as his side won the home leg 3-2 and Yeste registered in the return fixture, which Athletic won 2-0 in Bilbao.

• Kurban Berdyev has been coach of Rubin since 2001, leading them to Russian titles in 2008 and 2009. Rubin captain Roman Sharonov once said of his serious-minded trainer: "He has football on his mind 24 hours a day. If I thought about football that much I would probably lose my mind."

• Olympiacos's Spanish coach Valverde was a forward and later coach with Athletic. He twice lost UEFA Cup finals on penalties with RSC Espanyol, as a player in 1988 and as a coach in 2007, but won the 1989 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup at FC Barcelona. He is in his second spell with the Piraeus club having won the Greek title in his first season, in 2008/09, and again on returning in 2010/11.

Round of 16
• The winners will take on FC Salzburg or FC Metalist Kharkiv in the round of 16 on 8 and 15 March, playing the second leg at home.

• Rubin have met neither of their potential opponents in UEFA competition.

• Olympiacos have never come across Salzburg, but lost 1-0 at Metalist in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage, Edmar scoring an 88th-minute winner in Kharkiv.

Competition statistics
• An updated version of the UEFA Europa League Statistics Handbook is available here:

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