Olympiacos vs Juventus: Match preview
Juventus go into the game against the Greek champions knowing that they will qualify for the Last 16 with a win, whilst a draw or even defeat would be sufficient providing that Sporting CP don’t beat Barcelona at the Camp Nou. The Bianconeri cannot finish in top spot so will be fighting it out with the Lisbon side for a place in the next round, Olympiacos are out.
Last time in the Champions League, Juve and Barcelona played out a tightly contested 0-0 draw at the Allianz Stadium that left the Old Lady in second place with eight points. In the other match in Group D Sporting CP defeated Olympiacos 3-1, thanks to a brace from Bas Dost and an effort from Bruno Cesar, whilst Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe responded for the visitors.
The Bianconeri go into the game full of confidence after Friday night’s great victory away to Napoli. Juve won the encounter 1-0 with a goal from former Napoli striker, Gonzalo Higuain, who finished Dybala’s inch perfect pass coolly past Pepe Reina.
HOSTS FLOURISHING AFTER CHANGE
Olympiacos re-hired one of their great former managers, Takis Lemonis on the eve of the two sides’ encounter in Turin in September, replacing Besnik Hasi in the hotseat. Despite losing his first game against Juve 2-0, the Greek champions have been in blistering form domestically, losing just two out of eight matches and winning the rest under Lemonis. As a result of their form, Olympiacos currently sit top of Superleague Greece, one point ahead of PAOK.
In the last encounter at the Allianz Stadium the visitors were able to frustrate the Bianconeri and keep them at bay for much of the match. It wasn’t until the introduction of Gonzalo Higuain that Juve were able to find a breakthrough, with the Argentine opening the scoring for Juve in the 69th minute. Mario Mandzukic made the result safe 10 minutes from time after his diving header wrapped up all three points.
The last time the two teams met in Greece in the 2014/15 season, Olympiacos were the victors, winning the tie by a goal to nil after a strike from Pajtim Kasami. Roberto had a stunning game in the host’s goal saving many difficult shots, as the Bianconeri just couldn’t find a way through that night.
Prior to the last defeat, Juve had won their last two previous trips to Athens. In 2003, despite falling behind to an early Ieroklis Stoltidis goal the Bianconeri managed to win the game 2-1, after two strikes in each half from Pavel Nedved. In the UEFA Cup in 1999, despite again trailing, this time after a goal from Stylianos Giannakopolis, Juve hit back with goals from Igor Tudor, Darko Kovacevic and Filippo Inzaghi to win 3-1.
#OLYJUVE MATCH STATS
- Miralem Pjanic is one booking away from picking up a suspension.
- Olympiacos’ record at home to Italian sides is three wins, three draws and four defeats.
- The hosts have only won three of their last 13 European home matches, drawing six and losing four.
- Both sides are in the Champions League group stage for the 18th time.
- Juve’s record in Greece is four wins, three draws and four defeats.
- Olympiacos’ Marko Marin and Sami Khedira were part of the same Germany Under-21 side that won the 2009 Under-21 European Championship.
- Panagiotis Tachtsidis and Miralem Pjanic played together at Roma, as did Marko Marin, Juan Cuadrado and Federico Bernardeschi at Fiorentina, and Seba and Alex Sandro were teammates at Porto.
- Diogo Figueiras spent the first half of the 2015/16 season on loan at Genoa and made his debut in a 2-0 home defeat.