Olympiacos v Crvena zvezda facts
Olympiacos and Crvena zvezda meet in Piraeus with third place in Group B, and a spot in the UEFA Europa League round of 32, on the line.
• In the sides’ first ever meeting the Serbian champions came from behind to beat their Greek rivals 3-1 in Belgrade on Matchday 2 thanks to goals from Miloš Vulić (62), Nemanja Milunović (87) and Richmond Boakye (90) after Rúben Semedo’s first-half opener.
• Crvena zvezda have only those three points to their name in the section, but are still two points better off than Olympiacos, who have lost their last four UEFA Champions League matches. Crvena zvezda will therefore finish third if they avoid defeat at Olympiacos, who need to win to overtake their opponents.
• Having come from two goals down to draw 2-2 at home to Tottenham on Matchday 1, the Piraeus club have lost their last four Group B games; after letting slip the lead to lose at Crvena zvezda, they were beaten twice by Bayern München, 3-2 in Greece and 2-0 at home. Last time out Olympiacos again led, this time 2-0 at Spurs, but ultimately went down 4-2.
• Second in the 2018/19 Greek Super League behind PAOK, Pedro Martins’ side were unbeaten in this season’s UEFA Champions League before losing on Matchday 2, having kicked off in the second qualifying round. They beat Viktoria Plzeň (0-0 a, 4-0 h) and İstanbul Başakşehir in the third qualifying round (1-0 a, 2-0 h) before overcoming Krasnodar in the play-offs (4-0 h, 2-1 a) and then drawing with Spurs.
• The point from Matchday 1 equalled the Greek side’s six-match total from their last UEFA Champions League group stage campaign in 2017/18, when they finished bottom of a section including Barcelona, Juventus and Sporting CP.
• Olympiacos’s next defeat in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final, will be their 62nd, equalling Porto’s competition record.
• In 2018/19 Olympiacos went from the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round to the round of 32 thanks to a memorable Matchday 6 defeat of AC Milan in Piraeus. They were unable to get past Dynamo Kyiv in the first knockout round, however, going out 3-2 on aggregate (2-2 h, 0-1 a).
• The 3-2 defeat by Bayern on Matchday 4 ended a ten-game home unbeaten European run for Olympiacos (W7 D3), since a 2-0 loss against Juventus on Matchday 6 of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League.
• Olympiacos have scored twice in each of their home games against Serbian opponents, a 2-0 defeat of Rad in the 1989/90 UEFA Cup first round (3-2 aggregate) and a 2-2 draw with Partizan in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round (5-3 aggregate).
• The home win against Olympiacos aside, Crvena zvezda have suffered four defeats in Group B. They opened with a 3-0 loss at Bayern before two heavy defeats by Tottenham. A 5-0 away defeat equalled Crvena zvezda’s biggest loss in Europe, and a 4-0 reverse in the return fixture two weeks later represented their heaviest home defeat in UEFA competition. Both those records were surpassed on Matchday 5, however, a rampant Bayern running out 6-0 winners in Belgrade.
• Crvena zvezda have conceded 19 goals in their five group games – the most in this season’s competition.
• In 2018/19 the Serbian club reached the group stage from the first qualifying round and went on to finish fourth in their group, although they did claim a first UEFA Champions League group stage win for Serbia with a 2-0 home defeat of eventual champions Liverpool on Matchday 4, Milan Pavkov scoring both goals. They also held Napoli 0-0 at home on their Matchday 1 debut, although their last home fixture in the section was a 4-1 loss against Paris.
• This season, Vladan Milojević’s side again started their European campaign in the first qualifying round, where they were 2-1 aggregate winners against Sūduva of Lithuania (0-0 a, 2-1 h). They subsequently came through tight ties against HJK Helsinki (2-0 h, 1-2 a) and Copenhagen (1-1 h, 1-1 a, 7-6 pens) before beating Young Boys on away goals in the play-offs (2-2 a, 1-1 h).
• Crvena zvezda have won only four of their last 21 European fixtures (D8 L9). They are ten games without an away victory (D4 L6) since a 2-1 triumph at Spartak Trnava in last season’s third qualifying round second leg.
• The Serbian club were beaten 3-0 at Aris Thessaloniki in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup group stage, their last trip to Greece, where they have suffered five defeats in six games. The sole exception was a 2-0 win at Panathinaikos in the 1991/92 European Champion Clubs’ Cup third round, when the then holders went on to complete a 3-0 aggregate success.
• European champions in 1991, Crvena zvezda claimed their second successive Serbian league title in 2018/19 and a 30th national championship overall.
Links and trivia
• Crvena zvezda head coach Milojević spent the majority of his playing days in Greece, representing PAS Giannina (1993/94), Kalamata (1994/95), Apollon Smyrni (1996/97 and 2004), Panathinaikos (1997–2000), Iraklis (2000–03) and Akratitos (2003). As a player he faced Olympiacos 14 times, winning only once while suffering ten defeats. He was sent off in an Olympiacos-Panathinaikos derby in December 1997.
• Milojević spent 2016/17 in the Greek Super League at the helm of Panionios, when Giorgos Masouras was in the club’s squad. Milojević’s Panionios won 1-0 at Olympiacos in February 2017.
• Marko Marin was an Olympiacos player from 2016 to 2018, scoring 12 goals in 59 matches in all competitions.
• Have also played in Greece:
José Cañas (PAOK 2016–19)
Mateo García (Aris 2018/19)
Tomané (Panetolikos 2016)
• Cañas won three successive Greek Cups and the 2018/19 Super League title with PAOK.
• Have played together:
Andreas Bouchalakis, Omar Elabdellaoui, Pape Abou Cissé & Marko Marin (Olympiacos 2016–18)
Pape Abou Cissé & Marko Marin (Olympiacos 2017/18)
Lazar Randjelović & Radovan Pankov (Radnički Niš 2018/19)
Daniel Podence & Jander (Moreirense 2016/17)
Bruno Gaspar & Tomané (Vitória SC 2014–16)
Lazar Randjelović & Srdjan Babić, Milan Gajić (Serbia Under-21s)