Everything You Need to Know: Olympiacos vs Manchester City (UEFA Champions League)

Manchester City’s Champions League campaign will continue tomorrow as they travel to Athens to meet Olympiacos, who sit 3rd in Group C.

A win for Guardiola’s team would seal qualification for the next round, although this would constitute a formality for the Blues, who have three wins from three games in the group. If City win and Porto lose to bottom-placed Marseille, the top spot in the group would be all-but-confirmed.

The Greek side have only won one of their last eight games against English opposition, that being a 2-1 win over Arsenal in February. One would therefore think that this game, City’s first away game against Greek opposition for nine years, will be a fairly simple win to secure qualification to the next round, although anything can happen.

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Team News:

Pep Guardiola confirmed on Tuesday that every single player in the squad, with the only exception being Nathan Aké, is fit for the game in Greece. City have been without the Dutchman since he left the field with an injury during the international break, and his recovery is still ongoing. Before their recent recoveries, Benjamin Mendy, Fernandinho, and Sergio Aguero were all out of contention for City also.

Olympiacos fare slightly worse – they are currently missing three first-team players. Strikers Ahmed Hassan and Youssef El Arabi are both ineligible due to their positive COVID tests. Together, the pair had scored nine goals in Olympiacos’ first six league games of the season. Also, former French international Mathieu Valbuena is sidelined with a thigh strain. Valbuena has created eight chances for his side in the Champions League this season, twice as many as any other of his teammates. Their only goal in the competition so far was assisted by the Frenchman.

There have been reports in Greece that Olympiacos could be without up to nine first-team players: Vinagre, Holebas, Rafinha, Papadopoulos, Valbuena, Bruma, Randjelovic, Hassan, Arabi.

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(PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Head to Head:

The meeting between City and Olympiacos three weeks ago was the first time these sides had ever met in the competition – that game finished 3-0 to City. An early goal from Ferran Torres, the third consecutive Champions League game in which he netted, gave City the lead from the 12th minute. Two late goals from Gabriel Jesus and João Cancelo then sealed the win at the Etihad.

Guardiola had faced Olympiacos before coming to City. His Bayern Munich team won 3-0 and 4-0 in the 2015/16 Champions League group stages against the Greek side.

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(Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Form Guide:

Olympiacos have started their league season in near-perfect fashion, winning five of their opening seven and drawing the other two and sitting at the top of the Greek Super League. Their last four league games have all been wins, with their last draw coming at the start of October.

In Europe, however, their results have been worse – losses to City and Porto mean they are currently third in Group C. Their only win in the competition this season came in matchweek one when they beat Marseille 1-0.

As we mentioned, City’s perfect record in Europe so far means they sit top of the group. Guardiola’s men have scored nine goals and have only conceded one – an early solo run from Luis Dias of Porto in the first Champions League game of the season.

The Blues second defeat of the season came on the weekend – a 2-0 defeat away to Jose Mourinho’s Spurs. Before that game, however, City hadn’t been beaten since September, when they were embarrassed at home to Leicester who ran out 5-2 winners at the Etihad.

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(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Match Officials:

UEFA have assigned an all-Italian officiating lineup for the game. Davide Massa is the man in the middle, while Filippo Meli and Stefano Alassio will carry out linesman duties on either wing.

The fourth official will be Paolo Valeri, and manning the VAR we have Massimiliano Irrati and Alberto Tegoni.

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(Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

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You can follow Danny on Twitter here: @dannyldnr

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