After todays training session, the team of 19 players has been announced for tomorrows match against Xanthi (5.15pm). One player will need to be cut from the squad for the match itself.
Goalkeepers (2) :
Defenders (4) :
Holebas, Manolas, Torosidis, Contreras
Midfielders (10) :
Greco, Tatos, Fuster, Modesto, Maniatis, Abdoun, Vlachodimos, Lykogiannis, Machado, Diakite
Attackers (3) :
Mitroglou, Pantelic, Djebbour
Giannis Zaradoukas, widely tipped to start the match, hasn't even made the squad!
We had our matchday 6 tie tonight with us playing Asteras Tripolis at home. Its been a couple of weeks since my last report due to holidays but I'm back and writing again. This is our last superleague game before we take a weeks break for international duties and we really want to grab a win here to make it 6 victories from 6 games so far.
Onto the game though and it was Tripolis doing the majority of the attacking in the opening minutes although their long ball methods was easily ran out of play. We also helped break up their momentum with smart counter attacks whenever possible. After the first ten minutes we were getting more possession of the ball and starting to apply some pressure on the Asteras goalmouth albeit without any success.
We were still fighting for control of the game after the first fifteen minutes and our efforts on goal were being matched by Tripolis at the other end of the pitch. Our best chance of the game so far coming in the 20th minute from a free kick just in front of the box which required the goalkeeper to intervene and push the ball over the net. A following opportunity was cleared off the Tripolis line so it looked like, slowly but surely, we were getting closer to goal.
We continued with the pressure on the Tripolis goalmouth throughout the half but were having trouble in breaking through their defensive line. Our best chances were still coming from dead ball situations and not open play. On the wings, Machado had not been performing well and Ibagaza was being closed down in the centre too often so the playmakers were being reduced to the two defensive midfielders and Abdoun (who was trying to dribble all too often).
However two minutes before the break we got the goal we had been waiting for. An indirect free kick gave us the chance to make a shot on goal and up came Holebas for the shot. He absolutely spanked the ball and shot it into the goal like a bullet to give us the lead at halftime. That shot has to be the goal of the week if not the month - an total cracker of a shot!
Early in the second half we made two changes to the lineup to allow for tactical changes and a couple of slight knocks that the players had picked up. The game however had reverted to what was seen for long stretches of the first half - a lot of possession and runs up the field but very little final chances in the Tripolis area. Asteras for their part were getting a little more adventurous as they needed to equalise but we were coping with their occasional forays into our half of the pitch.
During the second half of the match, Asteras started to control the possession more whilst we changed to counter attacking once again but we were still coping with closing down their attacks. The defensive style didn't meet with the crowds approval though and they voiced their discontent. Especially as we weren't showing any sort of domination on the field at the minute.
We had a couple of chances on goal in the final 15 minutes of the match but so did Tripolis with a header ricocheting off the post in the 82nd minute. The opposition had another direct chance on the 85th minute but luckily Carroll deflected the ball off his feet with a diving save. We managed to hold onto the lead for the rest of the game and the match finished after four minutes of extra time. The crowd rightly booed the performance (despite the win) at the final whistle.
Olympiakos 1-0 Asteras Tripolis
Olympiakos : Carroll, Modesto, Contreras, Manolas, Holebas (50' Torosidis), Maniatis, Siovas, Ibagaza (50' Fuster), Machado, Abdoun, Djebbour (83' Mitroglou)
After the mornings training session, Leonardo Jardim announced the 19 players selected for tomorrows match. The players making the list are :-
Siovas, Holebas, Manolas, Torosidis, Contreras
Greco, Tatos, Ibagasa, Fuster, Modesto, Maniatis, Fetfatzidis, Abdoun, Machado
Mitroglou, Pantelic, Djebbour
Diakite, Diogo and Vlachodimos were not included whilst Papazoglou, Fejsa and Zaradoukas are not fit enough to take part in the game.
Today saw our matchday 3 game against PAS Giannena away in the Zosimadon stadium. Despite the refusal of PAS to allow our organised fans to attend and the poor weather of the last 24 hours, we were looking forward to a win in todays game.
We had rested a couple of players in advance of Tuesdays game against Schalke but the squad which we put out was more than capable of winning the game in style.
We started the match reasonably well winning the ball quickly in the middle of the pitch and getting the ball forward. PAS had some fight in their side and it took us a while to break them down. Eventually though the disparity in team quality started to show and we started to exert pressure on their goal.
After the opening quarter hour, PAS were being pushed firmly into their own box and we were making opportunities from all over the pitch with the midfield being especially flamboyant in their creativity. The Epiriots on the other hand seemed to have no tactics apart from tackling as hard as they could and trying to injure our players.
Siovas had probably the best chance to score in the opening half when a free kick was delivered into the box from Machado. He rose and managed to get his head onto the ball only to head his effort wide of net. A couple of minutes later, Manolas had a similar opportunity, headed the ball against the post and allowed the keeper to recover. In a rare counter attack PAS almost scored when their player beat two defenders and our keeper only to hit the post and have the ball bounce out of play.
We had a flurry of chances at the start of the second half but failed to capitalise on any of them. Our lack of success in opening the score forced Jardim to make an alteration to the system, putting Mitroglou onto the pitch and changing to a 4-4-2 formation. The payoff for this move came just two minutes later when the substitute opened the scoring.
One of the PAS defenders was caught in possession on the edge of the box by Abdoun who quickly took the ball off the player. A quick pass forward found Djebbour, who selflessly passed across the face of goal to Mitroglou allowing him to administer a tap into the net at the far side of the goalmouth.
A solo effort from Djebbour doubled the scoreline in the 67th minute. From midfield, a simple long pass into the box found the Algerian with perfect accuracy and he simply controlled the ball then put it into the net. Georgiou replied for PAS just a minute later after beating both Siovas and Carroll in an awful display of defending from our players.
As the game moved into the final stages we continued to attack the PAS goal but also had to be wary as they came forward to grab an equalising goal. For maybe five minutes before the end of the game we had to defend in numbers to avoid any breakthoughs from the opposition. Luckily we managed to avoid conceding any late goals (despite a very late scare) and so the game ended 2-1 in our favour.
In summary it was a nice game from our players for the majority but the fragility of our defence became pretty evident. It is worrying to be going into an european campaign with our defence being exposed at times by a team like Giannena (and Roy Carroll's charges from the goalline). Still we justabout earned the three points today and can move onto the game against Schalke.
PAS Giannena 1-2 Olympiakos
Olympiakos : Carroll, Papazoglou, Manolas, Siovas, Holebas, Modesto, Ibagasa, Greco (58' Mitroglou), Abdoun (73' Fuster), Machado, Djebbour (85' Fejsa)
After completing training this morning, Leonardo Jardim announced the team making the trip to Epirus for our game against PAS Giannena. The team announced is.....
Siovas, Holebas, Manolas, Papazoglou, Torosidis
Greco, Ibagasa, Modesto, Fuster, Fetfatzidis, Fejsa, Abdoun, Machado
Diogo(!!), Mitroglou, Pantelic, Djebbour.
Notable absentees include Diakite wasn't ready in time whilst Contreras and Maniatis are being held back so that they are fully ready for the Schalke game.
Olympiakos Programme - September/October
Wednesday 12th September
Sassari - Olympiakos
Basketball Friendly Match
Friday 14th September to Saturday 15th September
Saturday 15th September (7.30pm)
PAS Giannena - Olympiakos
Tuesday 18th September (9.45pm)
Olympiakos - Schalke
Friday 21st September to Sunday 23rd September
Sunday 23rd September
Olympiakos - Panthrakikos
Saturday 29th September
Olympiakos - Lokomotiv Moscow
Alexander Gomelski Tournament (Basketball)
Sunday 30th September
Olympiakos - CSKA Moscow OR Olympiakos - Zalgiris
Alexander Gomelski Tournament (Basketball)
Wednesday 3rd October (9.45pm)
Arsenal - Olympiakos
Sunday 7th October
Olympiakos - AEK
Super Cup (Womens Volleyball)
Thursday 11th October (9.00pm)
Olympiakos - Caja Laboral
Friday 19th October (8.00pm)
Efes Pilsen - Olympiakos
Wednesday 24th October (9.45pm)
Montpellier - Olympiakos
We had our first home match of the season tonight with our opponents being Levadiakos. Due to injury, Papazoglou came in for Contreras but apart from that it was almost the same lineup that we had utilised in last weeks match in Veroia. Perhaps we would see a better performance though as the team gets more used to the system. A minutes silence was held before the game kicked off and then it was into the match proper.
The match was not even 5 minutes old when we managed to score the opener from an indirect free kick delivered from just outside the box. The ball was shot at the wall itself but was low enough and had enough power to get through the defenders to where Siovas was waiting at the far side. A simple flick from him and the keeper was beaten, the result was our first goal at Karaiskaki for this season. The game continued with ourselves performing much of the attacking although Levadiakos also came forward on occasion.
After the first fifteen minutes Levadiakos started to pick themselves up and began to make more forays into our half. We usually broke these attacks up easily and then countered with runs of our own but it was also disconcerting to see a team like Levadiakos getting forward and controlling the centre of the pitch. We eventually took over once again in the midfield and made a corner or two but without any more success on goal.
Towards the end of the first half, Levadiakos once again made an effort to come forward en-masse and this caused us some defensive problems for a few minutes. We recovered though without allowing them to create any chances and went on the attack ourselves, scoring our second goal of the game. This came after a free kick was drifted into the box and the keeper caught it, dropped it and whilst the Levadiakos players protested and thought the keeper had been impeded, Djebbour shot into the goal. We finished off the first period making more attacks on the Levadia goal albeit unsuccessfully.
So at the end of the first half we have two goals but our play has not been overly great. We gave away possession in the middle of the pitch too easily and we seem to sit back further up the field than we did last year. This limits us when we counter attack to only using the two wingers and the striker and I'd prefer for the midfield to be a little more involved in building the attacks. Still despite our indifferent play we are two goals to the good.
The second half saw us continuing with our attacking play and almost got lucky in the 54th minute when Djebbour managed to dribble into the area. He was tackled however before he could fire the ball on target and score his second goal of the night. It was almost all one-way traffic in the fifteen minutes following the restart, Levadiakos only made one limp attack and we soon dealt with that. To round off this peiod of play, Djebbour got into the box once again and this time had his shot on goal blocked by the Levadia defence.
Our third goal of the night was scored on the 63rd minute with Maniatis getting on the scoresheet. This time the call was passed into the box from the left hand side by Abdoun, Maniatis was at the near side post in a good enough position to slide the ball into the net. Levadiakos came forward once more but we managed to easily break down their attacks. Djebbour, Abdoun and Machado managed to break through the opposition defence entirely but then spoiled their own chance when Djebbour inexplicably passed the ball forward to Abdoun and lose the ball through offside.
We scored the fourth goal in the 74th minute after another Abdoun and Djebbour breakaway (Abdoun should have been flagged offside for the initial pass to him) and Djebbour was on hand to put the finishing touches to a very fast break after Abdoun had confounded the keeper. Another good set of attacks just minutes later threatened to give us another goal but Levadiakos managed to recover and clear the ball from their box. We continued to pressurise around the opposition goalmouth and managed to give Levadiakos some real problems for their defence - they had to really struggle to get the all away on occasion. The game ended after just two minutes of extra time and we had managed to notch up another win.
In summary, the second half was so much better than the first. We played with a much higher line and the result was that we hald onto the ball for longer periods and also managed to control the midfield effectively. Abdoun was also much better in the second half and notched up two assists for his troubles. We now move onto PAS Giannena away for next weekends match.
Olympiakos 4-0 Levadiakos
Olympiakos : Carroll, Torosidis, Siovas, Papazoglou, Holebas, Maniatis, Modesto, Ibagasa (73' Fuster), Abdoun (80' Fetfatzidis), Machado, Djebbour (85' Pantelic)
A team of 19 players has been announced ahead of tomorrows match against Levadiakos. Absentees from the list are Andreas Tatos and Panagiotis Vlachodimos whilst Diogo is also sidelined. Contreras and Papadopoulos are injured so it looks like a combination of Siovas - Papazoglou or more likely Siovas - Manolas will start the match in central defence.
The announced players are :-
Goalkeepers (2) :-
Defenders (5) :-
Siovas, Holebas, Papazoglou, Manolas, Torosidis
Midfielders (9) :-
Greco, Ibagasa, Fuster, Modesto, Maniatis, Fetfatzidis, Fejsa, Abdoun, Machado
Attackers (3) :-
Mitroglou, Pantelic, Djebbour
Todays game marked the start of a new superleague season and saw us make the trip to the city of Veroia. After our indifferent preseason campaign it was a welcome to start to the campaign and we wanted to begin tonight with a victory and three points.
The start of the game was fought over with both sides attempting to put their mark on the game early on. We did perhaps have the better of the ball possession but it was pretty closely tied in the opening ten minutes. On the stroke of ten minutes, Veroia managed to put the ball in the net but this was judged to be offside and not given. We almost pulled in front at the other end of the pitch but our header from a corner was cleared off the line.
We started to push Veroia slowly but surely further up the pitch as the first half dragged on. We came close to opening the scoring with a shot from Djebbour in the 18th minute but his effort was pushed behind. Djebbour was the player to open the scoring though, the subsequent corner was played short then crossed into the box, where he poked it into the net from the near post.
Our lead lasted just ten minutes though before Veroia equalised. The goal was a tragic mistake from Carroll who came off his line to gather asoft free kick delivered from the front into the box, he fumbled the ball, dropping it directly into the path of Ioannou who was by now unmarked and with a clear goal in front of him.
Despite this terrible mistake, we looked reasonable enough going forward and it looked like it would just be a matter of time before we went back in front. We were taking the majority of the possession and Veroia were reduced to the merest of counter attacks to even see some action. Djebbour and Machado were leading the line in all of our attacks.
It was another goalkeeping mistake which led to the third goal of the match. Daskalakis came to collect a corner, flapped at the ball and dropped it right into the path of Modesto. So thats two stupid errors so far from the goalkeepers, anymore in the second half?
We started off reasonably well after the restart getting the ball up the pitch and our midfield playing well to keep possession of the ball. We had a couple of chances in the early part of the second half but none of them successfull. Veroia had perhaps the best chance at this stage of the game with a shot cannoned off the upright in a rare counterattack by them. At the other end, we had a few more chances to increase the lead but didn't manage to get any clear shots on goal away.
We started to calm down the play as the half wore on with the result that Veroia got a little more time on the ball at our expense. They also started to get forward a little too much to my liking as we changed to a more defensive playing style. Jardim took the opportunity to start changing the midfield to help our team and so Fuster came on in the 72nd minute as our first substitution. Inexplicably Veroia missed a golden chance to equalise in the 75th minute when a clearance from Modesto was deflected in front of their player 2 metres from the goal but luck was on our side and they missed their chance.
The opposition started to attack our goal even more in the last fifteen minutes of the game as they searched out an equalising goal. For the time being though, we held together defensively even if our clearances looked desperate at times. The Macedonian team became more frantic in their efforts to equalise and we came close to taking advantage through the counter on at least one occasion. There was however no further goals in the game and the game finished after 3 minuets of extra time with the scores still 1-2.
You could never have said that this was a vintage performance. We looked tired as the game progressed but we performed well enough to grab the three points with our best players being Machado and Djebbour. We move onto our first home game of the season next weekend with Levadiakos being our victims on that day.
Veroia 1-2 Olympiakos
Olympiakos :- Carroll, Torosidis, Contreras, Siovas, Holebas, Maniatis, Modesto (87' Greco), Ibagasa, Abdoun (72' Fuster), Machado, Djebbour (82' Mitroglou)
The team of 19 players making the trip to Veroia was named this morning and will consist of :-
Siovas, Contreras, Holebas, Papazoglou, Torosidis, Modesto, Maniatis
Greco, Ibagasa, Fuster, Fetfatzidis, Fejsa, Abdoun, Machado
Mitroglou, Pantelic, Djebbour
Vlachodimos, Manolas and Lykogiannis didn't make the team and will remain in Athens with the remainder of the training staff.