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Olympiacos head to the Camp Nou looking for at least a point to give them some hope in Group D. The Greek side have lost their opening two games and another defeat for Takis Lemonis’ side will keep them rooted to the bottom of the table. Barça, by contrast, can put one foot in the knockout stages with a victory on Wednesday, kick-off 8.45pm CET.
Fortune favours the hosts as no Greek team has ever won in Catalonia.
Arda Turan, Ousmane Dembélé and Rafinha were already known to be out injured, but after Jordi Alba was hurt in training on Tuesday, his name was dropped from the list too, along with those of Aleix Vidal and Thomas Vermaelen.
The full squad is thus as follows: Ter Stegen, Semedo, Piqué, Rakitic, Sergio, Denis, Iniesta, Suárez, Messi, Cillessen, Mascherano, Paulinho, Deulofeu, Paco Alcácer, Digne, Sergi Roberto, André Gomes and Umtiti.
"I don’t know why the Olympiacos fans like me so much,” Ernesto Valverde told his pre-game press conference. “But we did win a lot of trophies. And the feeling is mutual because the Greek people always treated me very well. I say that because I left a large part of my heart there.”
Though they’ve won three of their seven Greek Superleague games, Olympiacos’ late 4-3 victory over Panionios at the weekend was their first win in five, having previously drawn two and lost two. They are the highest scorers in the division but, aside from bottom club Larissa, have the joint second worst goals conceded record. Both of their matches in the Champions League have ended in defeat.
Barça emerged with a creditable point from their first visit to the Wanda Metroplitano, after a tough 90 minutes against Atletico Madrid. It was also the first time this league season that the blaugrana were unable to win a match.
This will be the first competitive meeting between the two sides, so the slate is clean and we await the outcome of what is sure to be a fascinating challenge for both teams.
However, they did meet in two friendlies in 1962, Barça winning the first 2-0 and losing the second 1-0.
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