Champions League

Pep reassures Arsenal on Olympiakos tie

2015-11-23 14:25
Pep Guardiola (Supplied)

Berlin - A draw would put both teams in the Champions League's knock-out phase, but Bayern Munich intend to show main group rivals Olympiakos who's boss at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday.

Both Olympiakos and Bayern have nine points in Group F, but Pep Guardiola's Bavarians lead the table with an overwhelming goal difference and beat their Greek rivals 3-0 in Piraus in September.

Victory will ensure Bayern, who are unbeaten in their eight European games against sides from Greece, win the group.

They will be looking to build on their 5-1 thumping of Arsenal at home three weeks ago, which avenged their 2-0 loss in London - their only defeat this season.

The German league leaders warmed up for the arrival of the Greek champions with a convincing 3-1 win at Schalke on Saturday as David Alaba, Javi Martinez and Thomas Mueller got on the scoresheet in Gelsenkirchen.

Bayern's recent results do not bode well for Olympiakos as the Bavarians have maintained the Allianz Arena's fierce reputation as a fortress this season.

They have won all nine matches so far in Munich, scoring at least four goals in each of their last six home games.

Arsenal need to beat Dinamo Zagreb at home on Tuesday, then hope Bayern win in Munich, just to keep alive their slim hopes of reaching the knock-out stages.

And Bayern coach Pep Guardiola has said the Gunners can be sure his team will not be playing for a draw.

"Arsenal can be sure that we will be going out to beat Olympiakos to do our best to be first in the group," insisted Guardiola after his side had trounced Arsenal in Munich.

Both Guardiola and Mueller have bemoaned the negative tactics Bayern's opponents are deploying this season with teams often playing a five-man defence in a bid to frustrate Munich's star-studded attack.

Olympiakos could be forgiven for attempting something similar as between them, Mueller and Poland hot-shot Robert Lewandowski have scored eight Champions League goals in a combined haul of 37 in all competitions this season.

"You have to work for every victory in the Bundesliga and we always have to go to 100%," said Mueller.

"Opponents don't make it easy and recently the five-man defence has become fashionable.

"I don't know if supporters like it so much, but the opponents try and stop everything we do."

Austria left-back Alaba is Bayern's main injury concern after limping out of the Schalke win with an ankle injury, while attacking midfielders Thiago Alcantara and Mario Goetze are definitely out with long-term injuries.

Olympiakos arrive in Munich without having played last weekend as their derby against Panathinaikos on Saturday was abandoned before kick-off because of crowd disturbances.

Their defeat against Bayern is their only loss in their last 23 fixtures in all competitions, but they are not expected to trouble the hosts.

Spanish centre-back Alberto Botia is doubtful with a hamstring injury while forward Alejandro Domnguez has not played since suffering a similar injury in October.


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