Olympiacos and Dynamo Kyiv meet for the first time in 44 years having come through the group stage in contrasting circumstances.
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Olympiacos and Dynamo Kyiv meet for the first time in 44 years as the record champions of Greece entertain their Ukrainian counterparts in the first leg of the round of 32.
• Both clubs came through the group stage, Olympiacos booking their place as Group F runners-up in memorable fashion on matchday six with a 3-1 home win over AC Milan that enabled them to leapfrog their illustrious Italian opponents into second place, behind Real Betis, on goal difference.
• Dynamo's progress through Group K was more serene, their qualification as section winners ahead of Rennes, Astana and Jablonec secured with a game to spare.
• The clubs' one previous European engagement was in the first round of the 1975/76 European Champion Clubs' Cup, Dynamo winning the tie 3-2 when they added a 1-0 home win to a 2-2 first-leg away draw.
• Olympiacos have faced five different Ukrainian clubs at home without recording a victory (D3 L2) and have lost both of their UEFA Europa League knockout ties against Ukrainian opposition, going out in the round of 16 to Metalist Kharkiv in 2011/12 (1-0 away, 1-2 home) and the round of 32 to eventual runners-up Dnipro in 2014/15 (0-2 away, 2-2 home).
• Dynamo's record away to Greek sides is W1 D2 L1, but the 1-1 draw they registered at AEK Athens in the first leg of last season's UEFA Europa League round of 32 proved sufficient to take them through on away goals when they drew the second leg 0-0 in Kyiv, making it three two-legged wins out of three against Greek opposition.
• 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 to end up in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round. There they handsomely defeated Luzern (4-0 home, 3-1 away) before seeing off Burnley in the play-offs (3-1 home, 1-1 away).
• Olympiacos's maiden UEFA Europa League group stage participation, in 2016/17, ended in qualification for the knockout phase on the head-to-head rule. This season it was goal difference that proved decisive as they matched Milan for both points (ten) and 3-1 home wins. The Piraeus club drew two blanks against Betis (0-0 home, 0-1 away) but put seven goals past bottom side Dudelange (2-0 away, 5-1 home) to secure their advantage.
• Although Olympiacos have been involved in only two UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns, this is the sixth time they have participated in the knockout phase. They have won just two of their five round of 32 ties – against Rubin Kazan in 2011/12 (1-0 away, 1-0 home) and Osmanlıspor in 2016/17 (0-0 home, 3-0 away). Their home record at this stage of the competition is W1 D2 L2.
• Olympiacos have won just three of their last 12 home fixtures in the UEFA Europa League proper (D5 L4), but have been victorious in the last two and are unbeaten at home, qualifiers included, in nine matches (W5 D4).
• Ukrainian league runners-up to Shakhtar Donetsk last term, Dynamo entered the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round, where they defeated Slavia Praha (1-1 away, 2-0 home) before going out by the same aggregate score in the play-offs to Ajax (1-3 away, 0-0 home).
• Dynamo's sixth UEFA Europa League group stage campaign proved, like four of the previous five, to be successful, three wins and two draws securing a safe passage with a game to spare.
• The club's best UEFA Europa League performance was in 2014/15, when they reached the quarter-finals, having also been semi-finalists in the last UEFA Cup of 2008/09. Like Olympiacos this is their sixth round of 32 tie, three of their previous five having ended in victory; last season's success against AEK was preceded by an 8-1 win against Beşiktaş in 2010/11 (4-1 away, 4-0 home) and a 4-3 defeat of Guingamp in 2014/15 (1-2 away, 3-1 home). Their away record in the round of 32 is the same as Olympiacos's at home – W1 D2 L2.
• Dynamo ended a run of six winless European away matches (D4 L2) with their 2-1 victory at Rennes on matchday three, which they followed up with another success, 1-0 at Astana, on matchday five. The Ukrainian club have lost just one of their last nine UEFA Europa League away fixtures (W4 D4).
UEFA Europa League squad changes
In: Giorgos Masouras, Gil Dias, Yuri Lodygin
Out: Giannis Fetfatzidis, Andreas Gianniotis, Nahuel Leiva, Yaya Touré
In: Fran Sol, Mykyta Kravchenko
Out: Vladyslav Kalitvintsev, Mykola Morozyuk
Links and trivia
• Lazaros Christodoulopoulos featured for AEK Athens in both games against Dynamo at this stage of last season's UEFA Europa League, providing the assist for the Greek club's first-leg equaliser.
• Dynamo goalkeeper Denys Boyko helped Dnipro to their 4-2 aggregate win against Olympiacos in the 2014/15 round of 32, starting both matches.
• Josip Pivarić played twice for Dinamo Zagreb against Olympiacos in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League group stage, providing an assist but also receiving a red card in a 2-1 defeat in Piraeus.
• Olympiacos head coach Pedro Martins was in charge of Rio Ave as they lost both games against Dynamo in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League group stage (0-3 home, 0-2 away). Current Olympiacos players Ahmed Hassan and Roderick played for Rio Ave in the second fixture.
• Olympiacos are the only Greek club still active in Europe this season.
• There has been at least one team from Greece and Ukraine involved in the round of 32 in all ten UEFA Europa League campaigns. The only other countries boasting that ever-present record are England, Germany, Italy, Russia and Spain.
• 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. Martins 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.
• Hired as Dynamo coach in July 2017, Aleksandr Khatskevich won seven successive league titles with the club as a player between 1997 and 2004, having also claimed four straight championships with Dinamo Minsk in his native Belarus. He later worked with Dynamo's youth and reserve teams before taking charge of the Belarus national side from 2014 to 2016. He was capped 38 times by his country, scoring four international goals, three of them in qualification for the 2002 FIFA World Cup.