Bordeaux look to avoid Greek tragedy
Laurent Blanc's Bordeaux go into Tuesday's UEFA Champions League clash with Olympiacos as the competition's best performers but the Girondins are wary of the Greek titleholders causing an upset.
The defending French champions boast five wins and a draw from the group stages of Europe's elite tournament. They conceded just two goals and dropped only two points in a 1-1 draw in their opening game with Juventus.
Bordeaux's Argentinian defender Diego Placente believes they will need to show a similar kind of performance to overcome the Greek champions. "We need to play a big game. We have to try and get a goal to make the return match much easier but our defence will be key to get through this round. I think that if we play as we did in the group stage, we've got a huge chance," the 32-year-old said.
Bozidar Bandovic's men have not lost a European home game this season and their defence, marshalled by former Aston Villa defender Olof Mellberg, have conceded just one goal at the Karaiskakis Stadium during this season's campaign. Olympiacos' Moroccan international Jaouad Zairi expects the club's supporters to help them extend that winning run on Tuesday, promising a feisty atmosphere.
"It's very intense. The supporters are fanatical. For us, the fans are our twelfth man. They can change the way a game is going," the former Sochaux player said. "We beat Arsenal in our stadium. We will give our all to win on Tuesday."
Bordeaux had the perfect preparation for their European trip with a resounding 4-1 victory over Lorient in the semi-final of the French League Cup last Wednesday. Olympiacos, meanwhile, could only manage a 1-1 draw with midtable Ergotelis in their league game on Saturday. Blanc will have to do without his influential captain Alou Diarra, while Czech midfielder Jaroslav Plasil is a major doubt after picking up an injury in midweek.
Despite their Champions League exploits, Olympiacos are a club embroiled in crisis. They have already sacked two high-profile coaches former Newcastle United star Temuri Ketsbaia and Brazilian legend Zico over a string of bad results and crashed out of the Greek Cup in the fourth round earlier this season.