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OFI 0-4 Olympiakos

Matchday 26 saw us thrash OFI with a largely second team XI. The only down point was Saviola going off injured in the 33rd minute. His replacement was Scepovic who had a great game and got his hat-trick in the remaining 60 minutes or so.

Saviola is now rated doubtful for the Manure game but we'll see for sure when the teams are announced on Monday.

OFI 0-4 Olympiakos

39 'Machado, 42', 52', 88' Scepovic

Olympiacos : Roberto, Salino, Papadopoulos, Manolas (59' Bong) Holebas, Samaras, Machado, Campbell, Fuster (62' Pele), Ibagaza, Saviola (33' Scepovic).

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Olympiakos 2-0 OFI

Text taken from the official website :-

Leonardo Jardim made some changes, “refreshing” the starting line-up, in view of the match against Montpellier for the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday. Carroll was the goalkeeper. At the defensive line, Cholevas was the left winger, while Maniatis was the right one. Manolas with Siovas were the two stoppers, the latter returning to the starting line-up. Fejsa, Greco and Machado were the midfielders. Abdoun and Vlachodimos played as the left and right winger respectively while Kostas Mitroglou was the team’s striker.

Just before the end of the first half, Machado executed a brilliant free kick from the left side, towards the corner area, forwarding the ball close to OFI’s box. There was Kostas Mitroglou waiting who directly shot and scored to make it 1-0 in the 42ʼ!

The second half began with OFI being more cautious and Olympiacos wanting to score another goal. The latter came in the 55ʼ after the direct, amazing free kick, won after a foul, of Paulo Machado who scored his first goal as an Olympiacos’ player!

Now, everybody’s thoughts focus on Tuesday’s match which will be held at “Georgios Karaiskakis”, for the Champions League against Montpellier.

OLYMPIACOS: Carroll, Maniatis, Machado, Fejsa, Mitroglou (80΄ Pantelic), Vlachodimos (73ʼ Fetfatzidis), Cholevas, Siovas, Manolas, Greco, Abdoun (87΄ Lykogiannis).

OFI: Gounaridis, Banousis (61ʼ Bourbos), Koutsianikoulis, Papazoglou, Vandinho, Kourdakis, Zacharakis, Lampropoulos, Ioannidis, Souza (74ʼ Sarr), Vitoros (73ʼ Zorbas).  

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Team announced for OFI

 

After yesterdays training session, the team of 19 players was announced by Leonardo Jardim. Some players are being rested for the match against Montpellier and some are still recovering from injury. The players announced though were :-

Goalkeepers (2) :
Megyeri, Carroll

Defenders (7) :
Siovas, Zaradoukas, Holebas, Manolas, Papazoglou, Torosidis, Maniatis

Midfielders (8) :
Greco, Fetfatzidis, Fejsa, Abdoun, Vlachodimos, Lykogiannis, Machado, Diakite

Attackers (2) :
Mitroglou, Pantelic

 

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OFI 0-0 Olympiakos

Olympiakos will face Atromitos in the Greek Cup final after getting past OFI thanks to a 0-0 draw in Heraklion. To be honest, we didn't play particularly great football but OFI also defended hard - rather puzzling for a team trailing in the tie. Chances were few and far between for us with perhaps the best opportunity coming from Ivan Marcano in the 18th minute. OFI came out of their area for a brief set of attacks in the final ten minutes but we held firm to progress to the final.

OFI 0-0 Olympiakos
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Olympiakos 1-0 Tsatsoi (Cup Match)

It was Olympiakos against OFI at Karaiskaki earlier this evening. We faced OFI in the semi-finals of the cup and would need to dispatch them in a two legged fixture in order to advance to the final. As the league was more or less already won, this seemed to be our focus at the minute and offered a real chance to get a double this season, hence the strong lineup.

First Half
We started attacking straight from the start of the game and made our first real chance on the Tsatsoi goalmouth in the seventh minute with an Abdoun cross and Mirallas flick which just went wide of the net. Apart from this one chance though we didn't create the chances early on in the game and made some poor final passes in the box.  Djebbour came painstakingly close in the 16th minute with a rebound attempt but found the ball smothered by the keeper before he got the final touch. It must be said though that the game was all one-way traffic at this stage and apart from some very desperate and frantic defending, OFI had done nothing.

The pressure continued throughout the first half but the problem of misplaced passes was holding us back. However our relentless pressure was paying off with some free kicks in great positions and the threat of a goal was always present. We continued to have some minor chances on goal and our continuing pressure was at least getting our team into the position to make chances on goal. We did need to improve though if we were going to win this game.

Second Half
We started off displaying the same amount of pressure as we had before the game but we also had the same lack of accuracy and finish too. We were by far the better team in the game but we just couldn't manage to get the goal that we were after. The lack of definite progress was very frustrating to see and it raised the real possibility of the game ending goalless - a poor situation for us. Djebbour and Fetfatzidis had their chances but again nothing...

The last portion of the game saw us continue to dominate possession and play around the Tsatsoi box but with the same lack of success as earlier. We had by now made all of our available substitutions and were playing as aggressively as possible. We did however get the all important goal after a cross into the box allowed Mellberg to get a header on the ball and into the net. The game finished after a further ten minutes of play and with the finish, we had taken a vital lead into the return leg.

Olympiakos 1-0 OFI
81' Mellberg

Olympiakos : Carroll, Torosidis, Mellberg, Marcano, Holebas, Maniatis (73' Fejsa), Orbaiz, Fuster (46' Fetfatzidis), Mirallas, Abdoun (62' Diogo), Djebbour
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OFI 0-2 Olympiakos

Introduction
Todays game came from a sunny Cretan city of Heraklion where we played OFI in the 23rd round of the Superleague. Leading into the match we had some minor problems up front with Pantelic out for the season and Djebbour suspended. We had a competant backup plan with Mirallas and Diogo being available though and no other problems were found prior to the match.
As regards the player lineup the only thing worth mentioning was that Diogo didn't start the match and instead the front three were Abdoun, Kazim-Richards and Mirallas. The OFI fans had filled up the stadium today proving that there really is only Olympiakos and anti-Olympiakos fans in Greece (OFI usually churn out less than 2000 fans in their home games).

First Half Begins
The game began with a few minutes of both sides fighting for the ball, we got away our first chance of the game although OFI quickly reacted and came close with a chance of their own in the 5th minute. In the early minutes of the game, neither side had made much impact on the game. We were trying to build chances slowly through possession whilst OFI were counter attacking very quickly. Mellberg was yellow carded in the 11th minute for accidentally kicking Kabantais in the head during a clearance and that summed up the opening quarter hour.

Fighting For Control
We still hadn't stamped our control on the game after the opening fifteen minutes and we were still fighting for control in the centre of the pitch all too often. We were getting plenty of possession though and some of that in very dangerous places so the game could have easily turned in favour for us at any time. OFI were still proving to be dangerous though with the odd run into our territory and we had to be a little careful as to close down any chances they could have created.

Holebas Scores A Stunning Goal
On the stroke of 30 minutes we had a period of good play with us winning a free kick in a good position and then a corner minutes later which led to a chance on goal but the subsequent header going over the net. The Cretan side soon recovered though and again we were left having to fight for the ball across the centre of midfield. We did get a couple of half decent chances with Torosidis getting perhaps the best until we finally grabbed the opening goal. Holebas took a wonderful shot from well outside the area which sailed over everyone and straight into the back of the net. My description doesn't do justice to this goal, it was an absolutely amazing shot. The goal signalled the end of the half. So we had got the goal and the advantage now and generally had a decent half albeit with not enough clear chances for my liking.

Kazim-Richards Scores
Initially we began the second half providing some pressure on the OFI goal and come close to scoring again before the ball is taken back to the middle of the pitch again. We get a second goal in the 54th minute courtesy of Colin Kazim-Richards who had a simple tap in to an open net after Abdoun had broken into the box and dragged almost all the defenders and the keeper onto him. It was a simple debut goal for the loan player but appreciated all the same.

Onto The Defensive
The second goal led to a change in strategy with us moving onto the defensive and attempting to soak up the Cretan pressure. This in turn led to OFI having more chances on goal and a 6rd minute shot which was hit hard and required some real skill from Megyeri to push onto the crossbar. We dealt with the increased pressure by counter attacking up the pitch whenever we could. We introduced Modesto for Ibagasa to help us out defensively and help soak up the pressure.

End Of The Game
In the final quarter hour of the game we continued to play the largely defensive strategy and this confounded OFI as they were unable to break through our defence in any serious numbers. When we did counter-attack up the pitch we dragged the entire Cretan side back up the field. We had a couple of shots on their goal from Mirallas but these were of low quality and either went wide or were easily picked up by the referee. This proved to be it generally for the match, with the game finishing after 3 minutes of extra time and with it, we had notched up another win.


OFI 0-2 Olympiakos
45' Holebas
54' Kazim-Richards


Olympiakos :  Megyeri, Torosidis, Mellberg, Papadopoulos, Holebas, Orbaiz, Makoun, Ibagasa (76' Modesto), Kazim-Richards, Abdoun (88' Fuster), Mirallas (85' Marcano)

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Preparations For OFI

After a break of roughly 10 days or so, we are back with the Superleague (after last weeks games were suspended in protest at the new laws in Greece). This Sunday sees us in Heraklion to play OFI at the old Theodoros Vardogiannis stadium.
OFI, being the pricks they are, have decided not to give our supporters any tickets for the match and so the thousands of Olympiakos in Crete don't get to see their team live. Theres no reasoning behind this ruling just a simple piece of vindictiveness from the club which is basically the feeder club for the Green whores.

Anyway, onto the game itself and we've been preparing for the game after the players returned from international duty. With the game in Kharkov coming up, it is unknown whether we will turn out a full strength side or not however we do have a couple of problems. 
Firstly in attack both Djebbour and Pantelic will be missing (Djebbour is suspended and Pantelic is out for the duration through injury). This means that we will be seeing Diogo leading the line (no bad thing) and Mirallas also being available. 

For the other players, unfortunately Kazim-Richards does not appear to have adapted to our style of play yet and will probably not start. Marcano is also fighting injury problems and will probably also be out. We are due to hold a training session today and one tomorrow when the team will be chosen.



Today (Saturday) we announced the team which would fly to Crete. The players announced were :-

Goalkeepers (2)
Megyeri, Daskalakis

Defenders (8)
Torosidis, Modesto, Papadopoulos, Papazoglou, Marcano, Mellberg, Holebas, Maniatis

Midfielders (6)
Makoun, Orbaiz, Fuster, Kazim-Richards, Abdoun, Ibagasa

Attackers (2)
Diogo, Mirallas

So plaudits for Marcano, Megyeri and Mellberg who all managed to recover in time for todays selection. We do have a mini crisis at the front but even so we have players who could have fitted in such as Monje. Incidentally our u-21 team lead the way today with a great 5-0 thrashing of OFI. Lets see if we can match their great performance.



Sunday update :-
Giannis Fetfatzidis flew out to Crete early this morning as a 19th member of the squad. This is an unexpected development and makes me wonder if someone has been caught ill.
Gavros newspaper hasn't published a lineup prediction so I haven't been able to comment on that prior to the game.
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Roy Carroll has joined Olympiakos

34 year old former Northern Ireland international goalkeeper Roy Carroll is our first transfer of the January transfer window. Carroll arrives from OFI at a payment of €300k was made to the Cretan club.
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Olympiakos 2-2 OFI

Olympiakos - OFI

We played OFI at home earlier tonight in the matchday 8 round of games. This game, although important, is a preparation game for the important matchday 4 game of the Champions League played on Tuesday against Borussia Dortmund. After a one minute silence in memory of our legendary player Leonidas Adrianopoulos, the game started.

We spend the first ten minutes of the game probing at the OFI defence but also in absolute control of the game. An early stat displayed in the 11th minute reading that we currently held 76% of the ball possession and with 8 OFI players in the box when we attacked, it was only going to get worse for them. The game got more and more one sided as the half continued and it seemed that the only thing holding us from scoring was the sheer numbers in the box. OFI surely couldn't hold on forever against this onslaught and we got closer and closer to scoring the opener. Bizarrely it was OFI who almost managed to open the scoring in the 20th minute when 3 of their players ventured over the halfway line and managed to get a shot away on goal but luckily we managed to avoid conceding such an embarrasing reverse.

Here in England, we have a motto about teams which play such a defensive tactic known as 'parking the bus', but OFI didn't just park the bus, they parked the entire f***ing depot in front of goal. No matter what we threw at them, they simply packed the 6 yard box full of players. We were going to have to bring on another striker at least in order to get anything from this game. The possession was great for the statistics but we couldn't get anything through the mass of players and score a goal. As we were having more and more trouble in getting into the area, some of the midfield players were shooting from outside the box which wasn't going to get us anywhere in this game.

During the last five minutes of the first half, we tried all manner of methods to get shots away on goal - trying to dribble into the box, play the '1-2', thread the through ball to the strikers but without success on any of them. In the first minute of extra time, we finally got the goal which we had pressured for throughout the half. A deflection on the edge of the box put Fetfatzidis through with no OFI players in his path. He shot on goal but had the goalkeeper save his effort. The rebound however went to Rafik Djebbour who nodded the ball home for 1-0. So as the game finished for halftime, we had managed to take the lead.

In the second half, we initially substituted Abdoun for Ibagasa before kicking the game off. After the start, it was business as usual with ourselves having full control of the ball even though OFI were now venturing out of their own area. We continued to place the ball in and around the Cretan goalmouth but were now unfortunately unable to get the ball accurately shot on goal. The Heraklion side were now starting to bring the ball over the halfway line at times but were still very much lacking and we continued to be in control.

Mirallas managed to break through the OFI defence in the 58th minute before being brought down in the box by Roy Carroll (the OFI keeper), no penalty was given though and play continued.  Mirallas couldn't be held back for too long and managed to score in the 62nd minute with a point blank shot after a snappy cross from the right courtesy of Maniatis. To be fair, Carroll saved the first shot and it was a second crack from Mirallas which managed to get past him but it was a second goal nontheless.

With the game continuing, it looked like the floodgates were threatening to open and we would end up running riot as shot after shot was launched at the OFI goal but it never materialised. In fact, OFI managed to score one goal back in the 74th minute when a free kick was played onto the head of Mantzios. Good ol' Costanzo (crap crap player) came off the line to punch the ball clear, was far too late and simply stood there as the ball arc'd over his head and into the goal. OFI now undeservedly thought they could grab a point from this game and just as inexplicably scored an equaliser in the 77th minute when a corner played into the area wasn't cleared by anyone at all and was scrambled over the line. Astounding, just totally astounding!! The keeper again was totally inactive and totally missed the cross in (although the rest of the defence definitely wasn't blameless). Again, another Costanzo blunder and we end up conceding.

In an effort to grab the winner, Jean Makoun was brought off for Marko Pantelic. Pantelic started to make his presence felt straight away when he almost got a clear shot on goal but was able to start pressuring the Cretan defence as OFI reverted to type and stuck a minimum of 8 men in the box when we attacked. We started to get more and more desperate as the clock wound down to the end of normal time and it looked like we were going to lose two points from the game. Modesto had a header on goal right at the death but his effort was right at the goalkeeper and this was the last action of the game.

We ended up dropping two points from one of the most one sided games I've ever seen. Most of the blame can be shot at Costanzo (but unfortunately he'd fail to catch it!) and the result was a disasterous 2-2 draw.

Olympiakos 2-2 OFI
Djebbour 45+1'
Mirallas 62'
Mantzios 73'
Georgiou 77'

Olympiakos (Valverde) : Costanzo, Maniatis, Mellberg, Marcano, Holebas, Orbaiz (70' Modesto), Makoun (80' Pantelic), Fetfatzidis, Abdoun (46' Ibagasa), Mirallas, Djebbour
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Preview : Olympiakos - OFI

Greek Superleague : Matchday 8

Olympiakos_FCvsOFI

Saturday 29th October - 7.30pm
Giorgos Karaiskaki Stadium


The team is playing early as we have the game against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday night, however we need to win this game to keep ourselves at the top of the league.

For the players, we look to be missing Vassilis Torosidis, Ljubimir Fejsa and Fran Yeste as they continue to recover from personal injury problems. All three players have not started team training yet (still undergoing personal training) and will not be ready for this weekend. In addition to this Avraam Papadopoulos and Giorgos Valerianos are down and out with a cold virus. Both players have also not been training this week (not even personal training) so it's fair to say that they'll definitely be missing the game.

The referee team has been appointed for the game though, we get :-
  • Referee :- Selimos (Lakonia)
  • 1st Assistant :- Vasileiadis (Macedonia)
  • 2nd Assistant :- Fragkiadakis (Dodecanese)
  • 4th Official :- Delfakis (Arcadia)
  • Observer :- Tsortanidis (Achaia)


Thursday update :-

Ljubimir Fejsa has begun full training today and may well be ready for this weekend now. The chances are that he will not play and instead will be saved for the Dortmund match but at least he is available. Yeste and Torosidis are following personal training but will not be ready for this weekend, there is a chance that both players will be available for Dortmund. Fuster is also out of course (with cracked ribs) and will not be ready for either game.
Avraam Papadopoulos started team training today after being given clearance from the team doctor. He now has a race for time to be match ready but can be classed as 50/50 for the game.
Rafiq Djebbour was feeling some twinges in his knee after training. More likely than not he will be available for the game though.



In training on Friday, Vasilis Torosidis began full team training and seems to have overcome his injury. Fran Yeste also took part in the training although both players were not selected in the team of 18 players selected for the game.
So only David Fuster is considered injured now as even Avraam Papadopoulos made the squad.
The squad announced is :-


  • Goalkeepers (2) :- Costanzo, Megyeri
  • Defenders (6) :- Maniatis, Papadopoulos, Mellberg, Marcano, Holebas,Modesto
  • Midfielders(7) :- Fejsa, Orbaiz, Ibagasa, Makoun, Fetfatzidis, Abdoun, Monje
  • Attackers (3) :- Djebbour, Pantelic, Mirallas
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