UEFA Champions League
November 6, 2012
Jardim lowers expectations
Team Stat Comparison
|Goals for *||2.0||1.0|
|Goals against *||1.3||2.3|
|Last 5 home||W-W-L||D-L-L|
|Last 5 away||L-W-L||L-L-D|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Olympiakos | Montpellier|
Olympiacos coach Leonardo Jardim has taken some of the pressure off his players ahead of Tuesday's meeting with Montpellier by revealing he will be just as happy with a place in the Europa League knockout stage.
The Greek side were 2-1 winners in Montpellier two weeks ago to claim their first win in Champions League Group B and leave their opponents propping up the standings.
Another win on home soil would all but end the French champions' participation in the competition, while helping Olympiacos strengthen their grip on third place.
And although they are still in with a chance of claiming a top-two finish, and thereby advancing to the next round of the Champions League, Jardim would also be content to drop into the second-tier competition which comes with third spot.
"It's a crucial game tomorrow, but a win would see us almost achieve one of our aims of qualifying for the Europa League,'' he said in a press conference.
"It would also give us a lot of hope of continuing to strive for our main goal, which is to continue in the Champions League. It would be good either way.
"It will be a very difficult match. Montpellier are tough opponents and we saw that in France. But on our patch, in front of our fans, we will try and give 100%.''
Jardim has a few injuries to contend with, though. Rafik Djebbour is missing with a knee problem while Pablo Contreras is short of fitness. Ariel Ibagaza (groin) and Avraam Papadopoulos (knee) are also sidelined.
Montpellier, who are still looking for their first win of the group campaign, are without long-term absentee Karim Ait-Fana (knee) but welcome Garry Bocaly back from suspension.
Coach Rene Girard will also return to the dugout following his touchline ban for the reverse fixture a fortnight ago, and is aware his team's chances of progressing look bleak.
"I don't know if tomorrow's match is make or break, but we have to do what needs to be done,'' he said in a press conference.
"Olympiacos are very experienced in the Champions League. Arsenal and Schalke have the advantage. It's like we're playing in a mini league with Olympiacos as our main rival.
"We have shown that we can take on any side. The French league is our priority, but that doesn't mean we don't want to do well and learn from our experience in the Champions League.
"It's an extremely important match and we can only have a hope of winning if we are serious.''