Olympiacos v Tottenham facts
Olympiacos return to the UEFA Champions League after a season away with a challenging home game against last season’s runners-up, Tottenham Hotspur.
• While the Greek club’s most recent competition appearance came in 2017/18, Spurs went all the way to the final last time out, winning memorable knockout ties against Manchester City and Ajax only to lose to Liverpool in the all-English final in Madrid.
• The clubs’ only previous fixtures came 47 years ago, in the 1972/73 UEFA Cup second round. Holders Spurs effectively sealed progress with a 4-0 win at White Hart Lane, Jimmy Pearce scoring twice with Martin Chivers and Ralph Coates also on target; a Roman Arguroidis goal gave Olympiacos some pride via a 1-0 second-leg victory.
• The Greek side last took part in the group stage in 2017/18, when they finished bottom of a section including Barcelona, Juventus and Sporting CP having collected only one point from their six fixtures.
• In 2018/19 Olympiacos went from the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round to the round of 32 thanks to a memorable matchday six 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).
• Second in the 2018/19 Greek Super League behind PAOK, Pedro Martins’ side are unbeaten with just one goal conceded in this season’s UEFA Champions League, 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).
• This season’s successes have made it nine home European games without defeat for Olympiacos (W7 D2), since a 2-0 loss against Juventus on matchday six of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League.
• Olympiacos have won five of their last six home fixtures against English visitors, most recently defeating Burnley 3-1 in last season’s UEFA Europa League play-off first leg (1-1 a).
• Fourth in the 2018/19 Premier League, this is Tottenham’s fifth UEFA Champions League campaign, and a fourth successive group stage appearance.
• In last season’s competition, Mauricio Pochettino’s side recovered from taking one point from their first three games to finish second in Group B behind Barcelona, ahead of Internazionale and PSV Eindhoven, via a 1-1 draw at the Camp Nou on matchday six. Borussia Dortmund were then brushed aside in the round of 16 (3-0 h, 1-0 a) before dramatic away-goal victories against both Manchester City (1-0 h, 3-4 a) and Ajax (0-1 h, 3-2 a) took Spurs into a first European Cup final. Premier League rivals Liverpool proved too strong at the Estadio Metropolitano, however, running out 2-0 winners.
• Spurs’ record in last season’s competition was W6 D2 L5. They lost three of their last four matches.
• The Lilywhites picked up only two points on their travels in the 2018/19 group stage, and have won only three of their 12 away group matches in the UEFA Champions League – and one of the last five.
• The second-leg victory at Ajax in last season’s semi-final was only Spurs’ sixth win in their last 21 European away matches (D7 L8).
• Spurs’ last trip to Greece brought their first victory, a 2-1 success at Asteras Tripolis in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League group stage in which Harry Kane scored the winning goal. That was the London club’s fourth trip to Greece (D2 L1).
• Kane had scored his first club hat-trick in Spurs’ 5-1 home win against Asteras two weeks earlier.
Links and trivia
• Have played in England:
Omar Elabdellaoui (Hull 2017 (loan))
Andreas Bouchalakis (Nottingham Forest 2017/18 (loan))
• Have played together:
Mathieu Valbuena & Hugo Lloris (France 2010–15)
Mathieu Valbuena & Moussa Sissoko (France 2012–15)
Vasilis Torosidis & Erik Lamela (Roma 2012/13)
Rúben Semedo, Daniel Podence & Eric Dier (Sporting CP 2013/14)
Maximiliano Lovera & Giovani Lo Celso (Rosario 2016)