Juventus travel in confidence to Olympiacos
Juventus are well placed to take the second qualifying berth in Group D, although they would be advised to be wary of an Olympiacos FC side who held FC Barcelona in their most recent home fixture.
• With Barcelona already assured of first position, Juve are second on eight points, one more than Sporting Clube de Portugal, who must win in Spain to have any chance of overtaking their Italian rivals. Juventus will be through with a win in Piraeus, or if Sporting fail to gain victory; if the teams finish level on points, Juve have the superior head-to-head.
• Olympiacos have a single point from their five games and will finish fourth.
• Juventus have won seven of the clubs’ 11 previous encounters, including all five fixtures played in Turin, and lost only two.
• Their most recent meetings came in the 2014/15 group stage, when a first-half goal from Pajtim Kasami gave Olympiacos a 1-0 home win in Piraeus.
• The teams at the Stadio Georgios Karaiskakis on 22 October 2014 were:
Olympiacos: Roberto, Maniatis, Abidal, Botía, Masuaku, Milivojević, N’Dinga, Kasami (Giannoulis 90+1), Elabdellaoui, Domínguez (Fuster 85), Mitroglou (Afellay 69).
Juventus: Buffon, Lichtsteiner, Bonucci, Chiellini, Asamoah, Ogbonna (Pereyra 77), Pirlo (Marchisio 57), Pogba (Giovinco 87), Vidal, Morata, Tévez.
• Juve, however, turned the tables in Italy, where goals from Andrea Pirlo and Paul Pogba either side of a Roberto own goal gave them the points despite Alberto Botía and Delvin N’Dinga scoring for the visitors. Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal missed an added-time penalty.
• Juventus beat Olympiacos 7-0 when the clubs met in Turin in the group stage, on 10 December 2003. It remains the Bianconeri’s joint biggest win in Europe and Olympiacos’s heaviest loss.
• Gianluigi Buffon watched from the bench that night but did play in Juve’s 2-1 away success at the Rizoupoli Stadium in Athens.
• Olympiacos’s only other victory over Juve – 2-1 in Palermo in the 1999/2000 UEFA Cup third round – was in a losing cause; they still went down 4-3 on aggregate.
• The Piraeus’ club’s record at home to Italian visitors is W3 D4 L4. The 2014 defeat of Juve aside, the most recent fixture was a 1-1 draw against SS Lazio in the 2007/08 group stage.
• Olympiacos have won only three of their last 13 European home matches (D6 L4).
• Olympiacos opened this season with a 5-3 aggregate success against FK Partizan in the third qualifying round (3-1 away, 2-2 home). They then got the better of HNK Rijeka in the play-off round, coming through 2-1 at home and 1-0 away.
• That home victory against the Croatian team was Olympiacos’s first in five European home games, ending a run of four successive draws on their own ground.
• Olympiacos are in the group stage for an 18th time. They lost to Hapoel Beer-Sheva FC in last season’s third qualifying round, the first time they had missed out on the UEFA Champions League group stage since 2010/11. This will be the first season they have finished bottom of their section since 2006/07.
• The 0-0 draw at Barcelona in last season’s quarter-final second leg was the only one of Juve’s six away matches in 2016/17 that they failed to win, with five clean sheets and just one goal conceded to 12 scored. Defeat at the Camp Nou on matchday one ended a six-game unbeaten away run in Europe.
• This is an 18th UEFA Champions League group stage campaign for Juve, and a sixth in succession.
• The Italian outfit have reached the knockout rounds in their last three attempts, having finished third in their section in 2013/14.
• The Bianconeri’s record in Greece is W4 D3 L4. The 2014 loss at Olympiacos was their most recent trip.
Coach and player links
• Diogo Figueiras spent the first half of 2015/16 on loan at Genoa CFC, making his Serie A debut in a 2-0 home defeat against Juventus.
• Have played in Italy:
Panagiotis Tachtsidis (Genoa 2010–12, AC Cesena 2010/11, US Grosseto FC 2011, Hellas Verona FC 2011/12, AS Roma 2012/13, Calcio Catania 2013/14, Torino FC 2014, Genoa 2014–16, Verona 2014/15, Torino 2016–17, Cagliari Calcio 2016/17)
Uroš Djurdjević (US Città di Palermo, 2015/16)
Marko Marin (ACF Fiorentina, 2014/15)
Hrvoje Milić (Fiorentina, 2016/17)
• Have played together:
Panagiotis Tachtsidis & Miralem Pjanić (AS Roma, 2012/13)
Marko Marin & Federico Bernardeschi, Juan Cuadrado (ACF Fiorentina, 2014/15)
Sebà & Alex Sandro (FC Porto, 2012/13)
• International team-mates:
Hrvoje Milić & Mario Mandžukić, Marko Pjaca (Croatia)
Mehdi Carcela-González & Medhi Benatia (Morocco)
• Marko Marin and captain Sami Khedira were both part of Germany’s victorious 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Championship squad.