St-Etienne defend winning Olympiacos margin

AS Saint-Etienne will hope to avoid disaster in the home leg of their Round of 32 tie against Olympiacos CFP after securing a mighty 3-1 victory in the first leg of the UEFA Cup fixture in Piraeus.

St-Etienne celebrate a Ligue 1 goal
St-Etienne celebrate a Ligue 1 goal ©Getty Images

AS Saint-Etienne will hope to avoid disaster in the home leg of their Round of 32 tie against Olympiacos CFP after securing a mighty 3-1 victory in the first leg of the UEFA Cup fixture in Piraeus.

• Ilan and Geoffrey Dernis struck to give Les Verts a 2-0 half-time lead, and while Predrag Djordjević replied from the penalty spot for Olympiacos, substitute Bafétimbi Gomis scored late on to make it 3-1, ending the Greek side's 16 game unbeaten home run in all competitions.

• The first leg was the two sides' first meeting in European competition.

• St-Etienne are now unbeaten in eleven European games – a run comprising six wins and five draws. Their last defeat in continental competition was a 4-0 UEFA Cup reverse at Bohemians Praha on 3 November 1982.

• Olympiacos's record in 19 games against French sides now reads W7 D3 L9. Their record against French teams away from home reads W2 D1 L6.

• Prior to the first leg, St-Etienne had played just one previous European tie against Greek opponents. In the third round of the 1979/80 UEFA Cup, Les Verts defeated Aris Thessaloniki FC 4-1 at home – current UEFA President Michel Platini scoring the opening goal – followed by a 3-3 draw in the return.

• The first leg was Olympiacos's Spanish coach Ernesto Valverde's first game against a French side, while his St-Etienne counterpart Alain Perrin also had his first taste of Greek opposition.

• Olympiacos can count on the experience of well-travelled French defender Didier Domi, who started his career at Paris Saint-Germain FC before spells at Newcastle United FC, Leeds United AFC and RCD Espanyol.

• The Greek club's Brazilian midfielder Dudu also played in France with Stade Rennais FC during the 2004/05 campaign.

• St-Etienne boast Greek talent in the form of central defender Efstathios Tavlaridis, who left Iraklis FC for Arsenal FC in 2001. He subsequently went on to play for Portsmouth FC and LOSC Lille Métropole before joining St Etienne in 2007.

• The Olympiacos tie is Tavlaridis's second against opponents from his homeland. The twice-capped Greek international was part of the Lille squad that won 3-1 at home and lost 1-0 away against AEK Athens FC in the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League.

• Tavlaridis and Olympiacos midfielder Ieroklis Stoltidis were team-mates at Iraklis prior to the former's move to the English capital.

• Reigning Greek champions Olympiacos finished third in Group B to reach the Round of 32, while St Etienne – fifth in Ligue 1 last season – topped Group G.

• St-Etienne are unbeaten in eight European home games, a run of three wins and five draws, since losing 4-1 to eventual winners Ipswich Town FC in the quarter-finals of the 1980/81 UEFA Cup.

• Olympiacos have lost on four of their last five European away days. The exception was a 2-0 win at FC Nordsjælland in this season's UEFA Cup first round.

• Neither St-Etienne or Olympiacos have never been involved in a penalty shoot-out in UEFA club competition.

• Diogo Luis Santo is Olympiacos's top scorer in Europe this season with five goals. Ilan leads the line for St-Etienne with four goals, while Gomis has scored three.

• St-Etienne's Dernis, Tavlaridis and Cédric Varrault are all within a booking of a one-match ban. The same is true of Olympiacos's Domi, Luciano Galletti, Anastasios Pantos and Diogo.

• The winners of this tie will face Werder Bremen or AC Milan in the Round of 16 on 12 and 18/19 March, playing the second leg at home.

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