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UEFA Champions League

  • 4 December 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Stadio Georgios Karaiskáki, Pireás (Piraeus)
  • Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco
  • • Attendance: 28128

Olympiakos - Arsenal Preview: Gunners could become first English side to beat Greek champions since 2002

Olympiakos - Arsenal Preview: Gunners could become first English side to beat Greek champions since 2002

Djebbour (Getty)

Arsene Wenger's side have secured progression already but must produce a better result than Schalke against Montpellier in order to take first place in the group



Torosidis, Modesto, Maniatis, Holebas
Machado, Fuster, Abdoun
Mitroglu, Djebbour

Jenkinson, Djourou, Vermaelen, Santos
 Coquelin, Rosicky, Ramsey
Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud, Arshavin

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger could make wholesale changes for the trip to Olympiakos with qualification already secured, despite insisting in recent weeks that he would take a full squad to fight for first place.

Andre Santos (abdomen) remains a doubt but still could feature at left-back, while both Abou Diaby (thigh) and Lukasz Fabianski (shoulder) are definitely out.

Francis Coquelin looks set to start for the Gunners in midfield and he could be alongside Tomas Rosicky on his injury comeback, with Johan Djourou also likely to get game time in defence.

Olympiakos boss Leonardo Jardim has effectively no injury concerns coming into the match, although it is essentially a dead rubber for the Greeks too, with Europa League football already confirmed.

Avraam Papadopoulous (knee) is set to miss action for the foreseeable future and is the only player definitely missing out, although a couple of those involved in the 2-1 win over Platanias are touch-and-go.

Kostas Mitroglu and Giannis Maniatis both picked up slight knocks before being substituted but it is expected that they will both be available for selection.

  • The home side has always won this fixture, Arsenal winning three and Olympiakos picking up three victories.

  • Olivier Giroud (pictured right) has twice as many assists (four) as Olympiakos' most prolific creator.

  • The only English side to beat the Greek outfit at home in the Champions League since 2000 are Manchester United, winning in 2001 and 2002.

  • Olympiakos have lost only three of their last 17 home matches in the Champions League.

  • Arsenal have managed just six away wins from their previous 17 trips in Europe's elite competition.

  • Before this season, goalkeeper Roy Carroll had not played a Champions League match since leaving Manchester United in 2005.

  • The Gunners are currently on 10 points and need to get a better result than Schalke against Montpellier if they are to finish top. Olympiakos will finish third regardless of the result on Tuesday.


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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
1Roy CarrollGoalkeeper
5P. ContrerasDefender
-Konstantinos ManolasDefender
-Drissa DiakitéDefender
35Vasilis TorosidisDefender
2Giannis ManiatisDefender
-Paulo MachadoMidfielder
5Ljubomir FejsaMidfielder
-Leandro GrecoMidfielder
22Djamel AbdounMidfielder
-Rafik Zoheir DjebbourStriker
42Balasz MegyeriGoalkeeper
23Dimitris SiovasMidfielder
-A. IbagazaMidfielder
18Loannis FetfatzidisMidfielder
19David FusterMidfielder
9Marko PantelicStriker
22Konstantinos MitroglouStriker
1Wojciech SzczesnyGoalkeeper
23Thomas VermaelenDefender
18Sébastien SquillaciDefender
25Carl Jenkinson Defender
48Jernade MeadeDefender
7Tomas RosickyMidfielder
16Aaron RamseyMidfielder
35Francis CoquelinMidfielder
15Alex Oxlade-ChamberlainStriker
29Marouane ChamakhStriker
55James SheaGoalkeeper
57Martin AnghaDefender
-Sead HajrovicDefender
-Elton MonteiroDefender
10Andrey ArshavinMidfielder
35Zak AnsahStriker
-Chuba AkpomStriker
Players to Watch
Rafik Zoheir Djebbour
Rafik Zoheir Djebbour
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 0
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Jardim has already confirmed that his side are not planning on letting Arsenal in for an easy evening, and with nine goals in as many league matches, Rafik Djebbour will be the danger man.

Supported by Mitroglu, Djebbour will be far from isolated against the Gunners, and with the Greeks at home they will pushing forward, potentially giving the 28-year-old forward plenty to show what he is made of in front of goal.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 15
Games Goals YC RC
2 0 0 0
The England international would have been forgiven for thinking he may play a more important role for the Gunners this season, but after just three Premier League starts, he has certainly been used sparingly.

However, a Champions League tie where several players are likely to be rested, the 19-year-old has the perfect opportunity to prove why he deserves more time on the pitch as the hectic Christmas period fast approaches.
History suggests the away side generally struggles in this fixture, and with there being not a great deal to play for, it would not be a huge surprise to see Wenger rest key men, therefore giving the hosts the upper-hand.
Editor's Prediction

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