Olympiakos vs. Tottenham Hotspur
- What: Uefa Champions League group B, matchday one
- When: Wednesday 18 September
- Where: Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium, Piraeus, Athens, Greece
- Kick-off time: 5.55pm (BST)
- Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (Italy)
- TV and live stream: BT Sport 2 and sport.bt.com
Tottenham Hotspur begin their 2019-20 Champions League campaign looking to go one step better than last season where they lost in the final against Liverpool.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino admits that the 2-0 defeat in Madrid played on his mind during the summer, but the Argentine is looking forward to the opening group B fixture in Greece against Olympiakos (5.55pm kick-off).
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“It was a long period after the final in Madrid,” said Pochettino. “Being honest I was thinking a lot during the summer. To finish losing the final is always so painful because you can’t put out the feeling and you need to wait to start again to repair the damage.
“It’s exciting to start a new campaign and here in Greece. It’s going to be an unbelievable atmosphere as well.”
He added: “No-one today is thinking or giving us a chance to be a contender to be in the final in Istanbul this season. But that is normal. That makes it again very exciting, our run in the Champions League.
“We know we have to start by winning. However, you can talk but you need to show your quality. We need to show we have learned from the past.”
Bayern Munich host Red Star Belgrade in the other group B fixture (8pm, live on BT Sport Extra 2).
TV and live stream details
The clash between Olympiakos and Tottenham is live on BT Sport 2. Coverage begins at 5.15pm (BST) and the match kicks off at 5.55pm. There is also a live stream of the game on sport.bt.com for BT Sport customers.
Team news and starting XIs
Olympiakos team news
Uefa.com says Portuguese defender Rúben Semedo is a doubt for the Greek side. There are no other injuries or suspensions for the hosts.
Tottenham team news
Following the 4-0 win over Crystal Palace at the weekend Pochettino will make changes to his team and rotate the squad. BBC reports that Danny Rose and Serge Aurier have been rested while Ryan Sessegnon and Giovani Lo Celso are also out.
Spurs have confirmed that Juan Foyth is back in training, but Wednesday’s match comes too early for the defender.
Daily Express says Tanguy Ndombele could start in a midfield two with Harry Winks, while Dele Alli may line up alongside Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura in a three behind striker Harry Kane.
How the teams could line up
- Olympiakos possible starting XI (4-2-3-1): Sa; Elabdellaoui, Meriah, Cisse, Koutris; Camara, Guilherme; Randjelovic, Valbuena, Podence; El Arabi
- Tottenham possible starting XI (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Walker-Peters, Alderweireld, Vertonghen Davies; Ndombele, Winks; Lamela, Alli, Moura; Kane
Olympiakos vs. Tottenham predictions
Alex Young, London Evening Standard
“A trip to the Greek giants is never easy but Spurs will confident of kicking off their European with victory. Olympiakos won 5-0 last time out in the league, against newly promoted Volos, but Wednesday’s opponents pose a significant step up in class. Mauricio Pochettino will rotate his starting XI but injuries, especially in defence, will mean any team should be good enough to bring home the points. Prediction: Olympiakos 1-2 Tottenham.”
Charlie Nicholas, Sky Sports
“This is an awkward one. Tottenham were very impressive in the first half against Crystal Palace [4-0 win], which allowed them to ease down to second gear in the second half. They kept hold of Christian Eriksen and so things have calmed down a bit. He started against Palace, so is that why it has calmed down? Mauricio Pochettino has changed his team too much and that is why they look vulnerable at the back. I would imagine Tottenham would try to control possession, but this is an awkward trip and these are dangerous teams to travel to. Tottenham are still unpredictable. Prediction: Olympiacos 1-1 Tottenham.”
Étienne Fermie, SportsMole
“It could be a tight affair with the Greek crowd making it an intimidating and hostile atmosphere for the Spurs players and that won’t be easy for Mauricio Pochettino’s men. Last year’s finalists, however, should have enough quality to come away with three points on Wednesday night, particularly with the fresh legs of Dele Alli, Tanguy Ndombele and Lucas Moura available - none of those three started on Saturday. Prediction: Olympiacos 0-2 Tottenham.”
The Stats Zone
“Last season’s runners-up Tottenham face a tough start to their 2019/20 Champions League campaign as they come up against an in-form Olympiakos side. The Greeks have started the season extremely well and they will pose plenty of problems for this Spurs side so expect goals in a lively encounter.”
Champions League results and fixtures
Tuesday 17 September results
- Group E: FC Red Bull Salzburg 6 KRC Genk 2; Napoli 2 Liverpool 0
- Group F: Inter Milan 1 Slavia Prague 1; Borussia Dortmund 0 Barcelona 0
- Group G: Lyon 1 Zenit St Petersburg 1; Benfica 1 RB Leipzig 2
- Group H: Ajax 3 Lille 0; Chelsea 0 Valencia 1
Wednesday 18 September fixtures Group A
- Club Brugge vs. Galatasaray (5.55pm live on BT Sport 1)
- Paris Saint-Germain vs. Real Madrid (8pm, live on BT Sport 2 and BT Sport Ultimate)
- Olympiakos vs. Tottenham Hotspur (5.55pm, live on BT Sport 2)
- Bayern Munich vs. Red Star Belgrade (8pm, live on BT Sport Extra 2)
- Dinamo Zagreb vs. Atalanta (8pm, live on BT Sport Extra 3)
- Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Manchester City (8pm, live on BT Sport 3)
- Atlético Madrid vs. Juventus (8pm, live on BT Sport ESPN)
- Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs. Lokomotiv Moscow (8pm, live on BT Sport Extra 4)
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