Kick-off: 19:45 (BST)
Olympiakos coach Panagiotis Lemonis has called on his players to replicate their efforts from a fortnight ago when they face Real Madrid in Athens.
Group C leaders Madrid were given a fright by Olympiakos before coming from behind to win 4-2 on Matchday 3 – this despite the visitors playing with ten men following Vassilis Torosidis’s early dismissal.
“I would like my players to try and keep the passion they showed in Madrid and the character that saw them look the Real players in the eyes, even with ten men,” said Lemonis. “What we have to do is go out on to that pitch and give our best for as long as possible.”
Traditionally a sort touch away from home, Olympiakos appear to have turned a corner following their victory against Werder Bremen in Germany on Matchday 2.
“There’s something happening that shows that things are in transition at this club and I hope the signal is coming from the attitude of my players,” Lemonis said.
The hosts are without the suspended Torosidis on Tuesday as well as injured trio Cristian Raul Ledesma, Paraskevas Antzas and Didier Domi. But Lemonis refuses to dwell on those missing, saying: “We want to have all our players available always, but this doesn’t happen at any club. We can’t cry about absences. There are important players missing but we have others who can take their place.”
Madrid go into the match in the wake of Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Sevilla, where they played the last 39 minutes without the red-carded Sergio Ramos.
“We must forget about the game against Sevilla,” said coach Bernd Schuster. “We have a very important match and we know it’s going to be difficult. We are fully focused on winning because we want to secure qualification as soon as possible so I can then rest players and use my full squad.”
Schuster, who is without the injured Guti, has confirmed that Christoph Metzelder will also sit out tonight, with Gabriel Heinze the man most likely to replace him.
“We will rest Metzelder because he has played a lot of matches for us already,” said the German. “We have ready replacements in Heinze and Pepe, and we will still put out the best possible Real Madrid team. Olympiacos are a side with a strong character and support.
“They have some very good players such as Luciano Galletti, Darko Kovacevic and Raul Bravo. But our mentality is very good, we’ve worked very hard in training and we feel well equipped for this game.”