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Big Match Feature: Olympiakos v Man Utd

Source: thewillnigeria.com

In four previous attempts Olympiakos have never beaten Manchester United but they will hope to put that right in the first leg of their round of 16 tie in Piraeus on Tuesday live on SS3, SS3HD and live streaming on supersport.

com.
Olympiakos are hoping to dent Manchester United's proud record against Greek opposition when the sides meet in the first leg of their Uefa Champions League round of 16 tie at the Stadio Georgios Karaiskakis.

The English title holders have never lost to opponents from Greece, but Olympiakos's determined efforts to reach this stage culminated on matchday six with a 3-1 home win over RSC Anderlecht that secured second place in Group C ahead of SL Benfica on the head-to-head rule.

Unbeaten United's progress was more serene as they booked their place with a game to spare as Group A winners.

Previous meetings United have won all four of the clubs' past encounters, starting with a 2-0 victory in Piraeus in the 2001/02 first group stage when David Beckham and Andrew Cole scored the goals.

Sir Alex Ferguson's team then won 3-0 in Manchester with Ole Gunnar Solskjær, Ryan Giggs and Ruud van Nistelrooy finding the net inside the final 15 minutes.

Roy Carroll, now at Olympiakos but not in their Champions League squad, was on United's bench for both games.

Giggs has featured all four times United have met Olympiakos and the Welshman was on the scoresheet again when the clubs reconvened at Old Trafford in a 4-0 United victory in the 2002/03 first group stage.

Giggs struck twice with Solskjær and Juan Sebastián Verón also on target for a United side that included Rio Ferdinand.

Olympiakos finally scored against United in the return fixture on 23 October 2002.

Trailing to goals from Laurent Blanc and Verón, Giannis Kollias's hosts drew level through Lampros Choutos and Predrag Djordjevic only to succumb to an 84th-minute Paul Scholes winner.

The lineups were: Olympiakos: Eleftheropoulos, Anatolakis, Antzas, Venetidis, Patsatzoglou, Giannakopoulos (Mavrogenidis 87), Zetterberg (Ofori-Quaye 71), Karembeu, Djordjevic, Giovanni (Choutos 46), Dracena.

Manchester United: Barthez, G Neville, Blanc, O'Shea, Silvestre, Beckham (Fortune 63), P Neville, Verón (Richardson 87), Giggs (Chadwick 63), Scholes, Forlán.

Match background Olympiakos are seeking a first Champions League quarterfinal appearance since 1999.

This is their first time in the knockout stage since 2009/10, when they lost home and away to FC Girondins de Bordeaux.

United lost at this stage last season, succumbing 3-2 on aggregate to Real Madrid, and last reached the quarter-finals in 2010/11, when they went on to the final.

Olympiakos are looking for a third straight home success in the competition after victories over Benfica and Anderlecht.

United are undefeated on their European travels this term, having drawn at FC Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Sociedad de Fútbol and beaten Bayer 04 Leverkusen 5-0 - their first five-goal victory in the competition since 1965.

Olympiakos have lost all five of their previous two-legged knockout ties against English clubs in UEFA competition.

However, they have won their last three home fixtures against Premier League opposition - all against Arsenal.

They triumphed 2-1 in last season's group stage, Giannis Maniatis and Kostas Mitroglou securing a 2-1 comeback win, and 3-1 in the 2011/12 group stage, David Fuster scoring their second goal.

They prevailed 1-0 in the 2009/10 group stage.
Olympiakos's overall home record against English clubs is W5 D3 L3.

United first visited Greece at the beginning of their 1991/92 European Cup Winners' Cup campaign, for a 0-0 draw at Athinaikos FC.

They have not lost on five previous visits to the country and remain unbeaten home and away against Greek opposition, with an overall record of W8 D2 L0.

Team ties Míchel's only previous meeting with English opposition came in 1984/85 when he was in the Real Madrid side that beat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 on aggregate in the Uefa Cup quarterfinals.

With Spain he played in two home friendlies against England - a 4-2 loss in February 1987 and a 1-0 victory in September 1992.

As Everton manager, David Moyes oversaw a 3-1 home victory against Larissa FC in the 2007/08 Uefa Cup group stage and home and away wins over AEK Athens in the 2009/10 Europa League group stage - 4-0 in Liverpool and 1-0 in Athens.

Shinji Kagawa's Borussia Dortmund beat Olympiakos 3-1 at home but lost 1-0 away in the 2011/12 group stage.

Robin van Persie scored Arsenal's first goal in a 2-0 home victory over an Olympiakos side including Avraam Papadopoulos and substitute Mitroglou in the 2009/10 group stage.

He also featured in Arsenal's 2-1 home success over the Greek champions in the 2011/12 group stage.

Goalkeepers Roberto and David de Gea were colleagues at Club Atlético de Madrid in 2009/10 - indeed it was an injury to Roberto that gave De Gea the opportunity to make his Atlético debut, the then 18-year-old coming on as a 26th-minute replacement for Roberto in a 2-0 Champions League defeat at FC Porto in September 2009.

Javier Saviola and Patrice Evra were team-mates at AS Monaco in 2004/05.

They featured in a 2-1 home win over Olympiakos - Saviola scoring the first goal - while Evra also appeared in the 1-0 defeat in the Piraeus return.

Olympiakos Uefa milestones and competition statistics Giannis Maniatis is available after serving a ban on matchday six; Alejandro Domínguez, Kostas Manolas and Diego Fuster are all a booking away from a suspension.

Champions League squad changes In: Iván Marcano (FC Rubin Kazan, loan), Hernán Perez (Villarreal CF), Nelson Valdez (al-Jazira Club) Out: Carl Medjani (Valenciennes FC, loan), Kostas Mitroglou (Fulham FC), Vladimír Weiss (Lekhwiya SC), Sambou Yatabaré (SC Bastia, loan) Mitroglou, scorer of 17 goals in 19 games for Olympiacos this season, left the club on 31 January.

General information Olympiakos were eight points clear of second-placed PAOK FC going into matchday six; their lead is now more than double that.

They are also through to the two-legged Greek Cup semi-finals, where PAOK await.

Javier Saviola went off with a quadriceps problem in Saturday's 4-0 win at OFI Crete FC.

His replacement, Marko Šcepovic, scored his first professional hat-trick.

The Piraeus outfit are 19 matches unbeaten in all competitions (W16 D3), dating back to November.

Olympiakos are 34 away league games unbeaten, breaking their own Greek record of 29 set from 1972 to 1974.

Paris Saint-Germain are the only team to beat Míchel's side in all competitions this term, doing so twice.

Marcano and Valdez scored their first goals for Olympiakos in a 4-2 win against Platanias FC on 15 February - the Piraeus club's 13th victory in as many home league games this term.

Olympiakos have not lost a domestic game since Míchel took the reins last February, winning 41 and drawing six.

Already on loan, Roberto made his move from Club Atlético de Madrid permanent in January.

Manchester United Uefa milestones and competition statistics David Moyes is the first manager to take charge of United in Europe other than Sir Alex Ferguson since Ron Atkinson guided them to the Uefa Cup quarterfinals in 1984/85.

Wayne Rooney is Britain's all-time leading scorer in the Champions League, moving past Ryan Giggs to 29 on matchday one.

Robin van Persie has now scored in ten consecutive Champions League seasons.

Rooney was credited with six assists in the group stage, more than any other player in the competition.

Four of them came in the 5-0 matchday five victory at Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

United have scored 548 goals in Uefa competition and conceded 297.

Champions League squad changes In: Ben Amos, Darren Fletcher Out: Anderson (ACF Fiorentina, loan), Fabio (Cardiff City FC), Wilfried Zaha (Cardiff City FC, loan) The Old Trafford club broke their transfer record on 25 January to sign Juan Mata from Chelsea for a reported €44.

6m.
He is ineligible for the Champions League.
General information The Red Devils were 13 points off the Premier League top spot in ninth position going into matchday six, a gap which has since increased to 15.

Rooney, who agreed a new contract until 2019 on 21 February, made his 300th top-flight appearance for United in Saturday's 2-0 victory at Crystal Palace FC, marking the occasion by becoming only the second player after Frank Lampard to score ten or more Premier League goals in ten consecutive seasons.

Rooney has scored 209 competitive goals for United and is fourth in the club's all-time rankings behind Jack Rowley (211), Denis Law (237) and Sir Bobby Charlton (249).

Van Persie has registered four goals in five appearances since returning from a thigh problem.

Danny Welbeck (knee), Jonny Evans (calf) and Phil Jones (concussion) have not played since 1 February.

Club captain Nemanja Vidic announced on 7 February that he will leave United at the end of the season.