Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Dinamo Zagreb v Olympiacos: Silva plays down importance of Group F clash

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 18 Oct 2015

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Olympiacos coach Marco Silva does not believe Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Dinamo Zagreb will be decisive in determining whether they progress to the knockout rounds.

The Greek side are level with Zagreb on three points in Group F after each side beat Arsenal and suffered defeats to Bayern Munich.

Dinamo’s loss at the hands of the German champions was their first since November of last year and they face another tough task against an Olympiacos side that has won seven from seven in the Greek Super League.

The fixture has traditionally favoured the home team. Dinamo and Olympiacos have met on four occasions in European competition and the last meeting not to be won by the hosts was the most recent one, a 1-1 draw in the 1998-99 group stage.

That result secured Olympiacos’ first and only quarter-final berth in Europe’s premier club competition and Silva would not be drawn on whether this clash will decide how far they go in this season’s tournament.

Silva told Olympiacos’ official website: “The most crucial game for me is not in Zagreb, but the last game if there is qualification. I cannot say that a match will judge our European path.”

Dinamo beat city rivals NK Zagreb 4-1 on Friday to stay top of the Croatian First Football League by a point from Hajduk Split. 

Zoran Mamic’s men are aiming to secure qualification from the group stages for the first time in Dinamo’s history.

And Mamic is in upbeat mood ahead of Olympiacos’ visit to the Stadion Maksimir.

“Luckily we have the quality and the individuals who can turn a match and they have shown that [in Friday’s game],” Mamic said.

“There was a lot goals, and this is a good invitation for everyone to come together on Tuesday to take down one of the greats.”

Olympiacos have a host of injury problems heading into the game, with veteran midfielder Esteban Cambiasso unavailable because of a left ankle injury.

Attacking midfielder David Fuster will also miss out due to a right calf problem, while Andreas Bouchalakis and Giannis Maniatis (ankle) will not feature. 

Midfielder Domagoj Pavicic (foot) and Gordon Schildenfeld (thigh) are out for Dinamo as they attempt to put breathing space between themselves and Olympiacos ahead of the reverse fixture next month.

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