Astana v Olympiacos background

Astana need to make home advantage count against Olympiacos, knowing they will be out of contention for a UEFA Europa League round of 32 place if they lose or draw and APOEL win.

Previous meetings
• Olympiacos won 4-1 in Piraeus when the teams met for the first time on matchday three.

• That was only the fifth encounter between Greek and Kazakh clubs in UEFA competition with Greek sides now 3-2 ahead in terms of victories. Tobol Kostanay beat OFI Crete 1-0 home and away in a 2007 UEFA Intertoto Cup tie, while PAOK overcame Shakhter Karagandy 2-1 at home and 2-0 in Astana in the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League group stage.

Form guide
• Astana are unbeaten in their last ten European home games (W5 D5).

• Olympiacos have won both of their most recent UEFA away games 1-0.

• Astana are making their UEFA Europa League group stage debut, having participated in the UEFA Champions League group stage last term.

• Olympiacos made it through to the round of 32 in their one previous UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League group stage, in 2008/09.

Links and trivia
• The journey from Piraeus to Astana is about 4,000km.

The coaches
• Former Bulgaria midfielder Stanimir Stoilov has won two league titles since coming to Kazakhstan in 2014, as well as leading Astana into last autumn’s UEFA Champions League group stage – an arena he had earlier graced as a coach with Levski Sofia.

• Paulo Bento was hired as Olympiacos coach in August 2016 following a brief interlude in Brazil. A player for Benfica and Sporting CP in his native Lisbon, he later won two Portuguese Cups as Sporting coach and was Portugal boss from September 2010 to September 2014.

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