Dudelange v Olympiacos background

Debutants Dudelange are still awaiting their first group point or goal as they take on Olympiacos, who also need a lift.

Dudelange (in yellow) have found the group stage tough going so far
Dudelange (in yellow) have found the group stage tough going so far ©AFP/Getty Images

Defeated without scoring in their opening two UEFA Europa League Group F fixtures, Dudelange will be hoping for a change in fortune as they welcome Olympiacos to the Stade Josy Barthel, the Greek visitors having registered a solitary point from their opening two matches.

• The first team from Luxembourg to compete in a UEFA group stage, Dudelange pushed both Milan (0-1 home) and Betis (0-3) hard without reward in their first two matches. The record champions of Greece also ended up disappointed after drawing 0-0 at home to Betis and then surrendering a lead to lose 3-1 in Italy.

Previous meetings
• Dudelange have never faced opposition from Greece in UEFA competition.

• Olympiacos's one previous visit to the Grand Duchy, in the first round of the 1986/87 European Cup Winners' Cup, resulted in a 3-0 win over US Luxembourg; the Piraeus side had also won the first leg by the same score.

Highlights: Betis 3-0 Dudelange
Highlights: Betis 3-0 Dudelange

Form guide
Dudelange
• The premier force in Luxembourg since the turn of the millennium, Dudelange won their 14th national championship last season, completing a hat-trick of titles. They narrowly lost this season's UEFA Champions League first qualifying round tie against Hungary's Vidi but made historic amends by subsequently overcoming Drita, Legia Warszawa and, in the play-offs, CFR Cluj to reach the UEFA Europa League group stage.

• Dudelange's previous best European performance came in 2012/13, when they reached the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round before falling to Hapoel Tel-Aviv in the UEFA Europa League play-offs (1-3 home, 0-4 away).

• Since then Dudelange have lost only two of ten home games in Europe (W3 D5) and although they drew a blank on matchday one against Milan, they had scored twice in all three home fixtures in this season's UEFA Europa League qualifying phase (W2 D1).

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.

• The Piraeus club lost all three fixtures on the road in last season's UEFA Champions League proper and are on a run of five successive away defeats in European group stage football, losing each of those matches by a two-goal margin.

Highlights: Milan 3-1 Olympiacos
Highlights: Milan 3-1 Olympiacos

Links and trivia
• Dudelange are one of five clubs playing in the UEFA Europe League proper for the first time this season – and the very first from Luxembourg, which has become the 39th nation to be represented in the competition's group stage.

The coaches
• The son of Klaus Toppmöller, the coach who led Bayer Leverkusen to the 2002 UEFA Champions League final, Dino had a lengthy career in Germany's lower leagues before ending it as a player-coach with Luxembourg side Hamm Benfica. Having steered the club to promotion, he joined Dudelange in 2016 and promptly won the Luxembourg double, adding a second league title in 2017/18 and then defying the odds to mastermind a landmark qualification for the UEFA Europa League group stage.

• 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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