Olympiacos will hope to improve on some shaky European home form this season as they welcome Osmanlıspor, the Turkish side in the midst of their greatest continental adventure.
• The clubs are meeting for the first time in what will be Osmanlıspor’s first encounter with Greek opponents.
• Olympiacos’s three games against Turkish sides ended W1 D0 L2 (W1 at home, L2 in Turkey).
• Turkish teams have had the better of the 19 UEFA club competition games between the neighbouring nations’ sides: W9 D6 L4. Only one of the most recent 13 of those matches ended in a Greek victory – PAOK’s 1-0 defeat of Fenerbahçe in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League play-offs.
• Olympiacos are without a victory in three European games (D2 L1) and won only one of their three group stage home fixtures this season.
• Osmanlıspor’s away record this term is W3 D1 L2. A first-leg draw would be an excellent result given their European home form in 2016/17: W5 D1, conceding in only one of those six fixtures in Ankara.
• Olympiacos have fallen at the first springtime hurdle in the last four seasons since making it to the UEFA Europa League round of 16 in 2011/12.
• This is Osmanlıspor’s second European campaign and their most successful by some distance. They fell at the first hurdle as Ankaraspor in the 2005 UEFA Intertoto Cup in their only previous tilt.
Links and trivia
• The journey from Ankara to Piraeus is a little over 800km.
• Olympiacos’s Óscar Cardozo (2014–16) played alongside Osmanlıspor’s Hakan Arıkan (2015 only) and Aykut Demir (2013–16) during their time at Trabzonspor.
• Olympiacos’s Manuel da Costa also has Turkish experience (Sivasspor, 2013–15).
• Olympiacos’s Felipe Pardo and Osmanlıspor’s Raul Rusescu played together at Braga in 2013/14. Rusescu had worked with Olympiacos’ Diogo Figueiras and Marko Marin at Sevilla in the first half of that season.
• Osmanlıspor’s Raheem Lawal and Aminu Umar play alongside Olympiacos forward Brown Ideye for Nigeria.
• Olympiacos are one of eight domestic champions involved in the round of 32, along with Ludogorets Razgrad (BUL), APOEL (CYP), København (DEN), Hapoel Beer-Sheva (ISR), Legia Warszawa (POL), Astra Giurgiu (ROU) and Beşiktaş (TUR).
• Osmanlıspor and Genk are the only sides to have made it from the second qualifying round of this season’s competition to the round of 32; Beer-Sheva, Legia, Ludogorets and København have had similarly long campaigns, having started out in the equivalent round of the UEFA Champions League.
• Paulo Bento was appointed by Olympiacos 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.
• Bento was Portugal coach when his side lost 3-1 to Turkey in a June 2012 friendly – the Crescent Stars’ first victory against Portugal.
• Hired in July 2015, Mustafa Akçay earned Osmanlıspor European qualification with a fifth-place finish last term. He had been in charge of a number of lower-profile teams in Turkey before guiding Trabzonspor through the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League group stage.