Milan v Olympiacos facts

Milan are the early leaders in Group F as they look to build on an opening win when Olympiacos come to San Siro.

Gonzalo Higuaín celebrates scoring Milan's matchday one winner
Gonzalo Higuaín celebrates scoring Milan's matchday one winner ©AFP/Getty Images

Milan welcome Olympiacos to San Siro as early leaders of UEFA Europa League Group F following their opening 1-0 win in Luxembourg against Dudelange. Their Greek opponents drew 0-0 on matchday one at home to Betis.

Previous meetings
• It is 59 years since the clubs last met in UEFA competition – in what was Olympiacos's very first European tie, a preliminary round contest in the European Champion Clubs' Cup. Milan drew the first leg 2-2 in Greece before winning 3-1 at home.

• The Rossoneri have never lost at home to Greek opposition (W4 D1), though they were held 0-0 in northern Italy by AEK Athens in last season's UEFA Europa League group stage – the most recent such encounter. Olympiacos's 12 visits to Italy have brought three wins, the last of them in the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League at Lazio, but one of their eight defeats in the country was the heaviest they have ever suffered in Europe, a 7-0 thrashing at Juventus in December 2003.

Form guide
Milan
• A sixth-placed finish in Serie A last term earned Milan an automatic UEFA Europa League group stage berth. They also reached the final of the Coppa Italia, where they were beaten 4-0 by champions Juventus.

Highlights: Dudelange 0-1 Milan
Highlights: Dudelange 0-1 Milan

• The Rossoneri ended a three-season absence from Europe last term by playing 14 matches in the UEFA Europa League, going from the third qualifying round to the round of 16, where they lost home and away to Arsenal. It was the club's debut in this competition, their previous five European participations from 2009/10 to 2013/14 having all been in the UEFA Champions League – all of which extended into that competition's knockout phase.

• Their first home fixture in last season's group stage was a 3-2 win against Rijeka – one of five victories out of seven at San Siro during the campaign.

Olympiacos
• Last season Olympiacos surrendered the Greek Superleague title they had won in each of the previous seven campaigns, finishing third behind AEK Athens and PAOK and thus ending up in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round, where they handsomely defeated Luzern (4-0 home, 3-1 away) before seeing off Burnley in the play-offs (3-1 home, 1-1 away).

• Although Olympiacos have been involved in the knockout phase of the UEFA Europa League on five occasions, this is only the second season in which they have participated in the group stage, their previous effort in 2016/17 having brought two wins, two draws and two defeats and qualification for the next round only on the head-to-head rule.

Highlights: Olympiacos 0-0 Betis
Highlights: Olympiacos 0-0 Betis

• The Piraeus club are unbeaten in five European matches this season, winning the first three and drawing the last two. However, they lost all three fixtures on the road in last season's UEFA Champions League proper and are on a run of four successive away defeats in group stage football.

Links and trivia
• Olympiacos players Lazaros Christodoulopoulos, Vasilis Torosidis, Giannis Fetfatzidis and Guilherme have all had spells in Serie A. Torosidis was a team-mate of Milan centre-back Alessio Romagnoli at Roma from 2012 to 2014.

• Christodoulopoulos faced Milan last season in the UEFA Europa League group stage as an AEK player, helping the Athens club to two 0-0 draws.

• Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso spent the first six months of the 2014/15 season at the helm of OFI Crete in the Greek Superleague.

The coaches
• Gennaro Gattuso replaced Vincenzo Montella as Milan coach on 27 November 2017, earning promotion from the youth team. A legendary Rossoneri midfielder of grit and endeavour who played for the club from 1999 to 2012, racking up 468 appearances in all competitions, he won both Serie A and the UEFA Champions League twice and also lifted the FIFA World Cup with Italy in 2006. He led Milan to a sixth-place Serie A finish in 2017/18.

• Pedro Martins was named Olympiacos coach in April 2018, becoming the club's fifth Portuguese boss in six years after Leonardo Jardim, Vítor Pereira, Marco Silva and Paulo Bento. He had not previously worked outside his homeland, his last three spells in the dugout before the move to Greece having brought UEFA Europa League qualification for Marítimo, Rio Ave and Vitória Guimarães. A holding midfielder, he was capped once by Portugal during a three-year spell with Sporting CP from 1995–98.

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