Olympiakos - Montpellier Preview: The French champions look to bounce back in Greece after dramatic loss in matchday three
Kostas Mitroglou's goal in the dying minutes of the previous encounter earned vital points for Leonardo Jardim's men, but there is still all to play for at the Karaiskakis Stadium
By Martin Macdonald
Torosidis, Manolas, Contreras, Holebas
Fuster, Greco, Mitroglou
Bocaly, Yanga-Mbiwa, Hilton, Bedimo
Utaka, Belhanda, Mounier
Olympiakos welcome Montpellier to the Karaiskakis stadium on Tuesday evening, having stolen the points in dramatic fashion on matchday 3 thanks to a goal from Kostas Mitroglou.
They will be without Avraam Papadopoulos as the defender is currently still sidelined following the knee injury he suffered whilst playing for Greece in the 2012 European Championships. Pablo Contreras and Kostas Manolas may start as the central defensive pairing.
The Greek side will also be without Ariel Ibagaza and Tasos Papazoglou, who are out until November with a groin and shoulder injury respectively.
Karim Ait-Fana, Montpellier's opening goalscorer in the 2-2 draw with Schalke, suffered a major injury blow at the start of October and will miss six months of action with a knee injury.
However, the French side will likely welcome right-back Garry Bocaly back into the side after the 24-year-old served a suspension in the last match following his dismissal against Schalke. John Utaka, Younes Belhanda and Anthony Mounier may support Gaetan Charbonnier in attack as the Frenchman manages to score Montpellier's goal in the last match at La Masson.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Olympiakos have lost their last four home games against visitors from France. In the previous eight such contests they lost just once, winning five and drawing two.
- The last time the Athenians beat a French team at home came in the 2004-05 Uefa Cup round of 32 when they beat
- Kostas Mitroglou's winner on matchday three was Olympiakos' 100th Champions League goal.
- The previous match at La Mosson was the first occasion Montpellier have faced Greek opponents.
- The French side are one of three clubs making their debut in the group stage this season, along with Malaga and Nordsjaelland.
- Montpellier have already dropped more points at home in the league this season that the entire of the 2011-2012 campaign.
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Top 3 Predictions
Olympiakos Piraeus 2-0 Montpellier HSC
- 17.5 %
Olympiakos Piraeus 1-1 Montpellier HSC
- 16.5 %
Olympiakos Piraeus 2-1 Montpellier HSC
- 15 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Nov 6, 2012||Olympiakos Piraeus 3 - Montpellier HSC 1|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Oct 24, 2012||Montpellier HSC 1 - Olympiakos Piraeus 2|
|Mar 2, 2014||Olympiakos Piraeus 0 - Panathinaikos 3||GRE1|
|Feb 25, 2014||Olympiakos Piraeus 2 - Man Utd. 0||UCL|
|Feb 22, 2014||OFI Crete 0 - Olympiakos Piraeus 4||GRE1|
|Feb 15, 2014||Olympiakos Piraeus 4 - AO Platanias 2||GRE1|
|Feb 8, 2014||Veroia FC 0 - Olympiakos Piraeus 5||GRE1|
|5||Vitorino Hilton da Silva||Defender|
|21||Abdelhamid El Kaoutari||Defender|
The 24-year-old shattered the hopes of Montpellier in the last match with an injury time winner in France to claim a vital three points for the Greek side in Group B. He will need to put in a similar performance to maintain his current hero status but he certainly has the quality to do so.
The Moroccan will need to be on top of his game is Montpellier are going to get anything out of the match in Greece. He managed to test Roy Carroll a couple of times in the last game but his creativity will be key to Montpellier's chances of climbing off the foot of Group B.
Montpellier have responded to the previous defeat by Olympiakos in the Champions League in good fashion by drawing one match and winning two since the loss a fortnight ago. However, it is very possible that the injury time winner by Kostas Mitroglou for the Greeks may have knocked the stuffing out of the Ligue 1 outfit in regards to their European ambitions. The cauldron of the Karaiskakis stadium will likely be too much for the French side in their maiden Champions League campaign. Montpellier have the quality to score, but expect Olympiakos to come out on top.