In an exclusive interview with Goal, Pedro Martinez talks about why he believes his side is capable of creating a surprise on Wednesday night.
According to Pendro Martinez, Manchester City are good enough to win the Champions League, but the Olympiacos coach says Pep Guardiola’s side are not on par with title-holder Bayern Min Munich.
After beating their Greek opponents 3-0 at the Etihad Stadium earlier this month, only one point is needed to qualify for the Champions League knockout stage for the eighth edition of the Premier League.
However, the city was not happy until Gabriel Jesus scored his second goal in the 81st minute. In fact, Olympiacos missed several equalizer opportunities, with Mathieu Valbuana, in particular, firing at close range.
That defeat left the Greeks in a dangerous position in Group C with just three points from three matches. Another disadvantage of the city was that it took the ability out of their hands.
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Martinez, however, is optimistic about his side’s hopes of becoming a surprise spring. He has a special possession of the city, but he is not convinced that he is as strong without the ball as Bayern faced Olympiacos in last year’s group stage.
Olympiacos have a good recent record against English side in Europe, which knocked Arsenal out of last season’s Europa League, and caught Tottenham and the Wolves at home.
So Martinez says his players are happy to have another crack at City.
“We had a great second half in Manchester as well,” said the Portugal coach The goal. “Until the second goal, we were looking for an equalizer and it was a great response, while we played so badly in the first half.
“I think we can do it again. We know this is a difficult game because the city has a great team. They are strong in all aspects of the game. But against the Wolves, Arsenal and Tottenham, we had two great matches. So, we will play our game.
“If you compare all the games against the city, no one did anything with the ball. We had a 46 percent hold – that’s a good figure for us. I don’t see anyone else doing that against the city because everyone knows how strong he is. Are in possession.
“They also create problems when they lose the ball for the first time because their first reaction is very strong when it comes to winning it immediately. But I see that Mr. Mun Nikh has been suppressing his opponents all the time.
“We played our game against the city in the second half. Against Byron, when I was in the second game after taking power, they never gave us a chance to play our game.
“They put us under tremendous pressure and we never got into the game. They constantly undermined our intentions to play offensively.
“Cities are different because occupation is a big goal for them. When he loses the ball, they put pressure on you but it’s not like Munich; They are more intense.
“But both are great teams and both have a chance to win the Champions League.”
Martਜ਼nez is also pleased with his team’s excellent form, with Greek Olympiacos top Olympiacos winning six of their opening seven matches and scoring 15 goals in the process.
However, they could be without eight first-team players against City due to illness and injury, while the Portuguese feel that the absence of fans due to the Covid-19 ban is also a big loss for the hosts.
“It’s not the same when we don’t have fans,” he says. “We are looking forward to ending the epidemic for a number of reasons, but also to the excitement of playing with the fans in the stadium.
“In Greece he is a staunch supporter, and in Karsakki he is particularly amazing. Football is not the same without supporters and I hope we can get them back soon. ”
In addition, Wednesday’s game means another chance to catch up with city goalkeeper Anderson, who has previously worked at Rio Avenue in his career.
“He has great qualities but he is also very important for Guardiola’s game,” says Martinez.
“Some coaches don’t want it or it doesn’t matter to them, but it’s important for Pep to have a good-footed goalkeeper who can put the ball wherever he wants.
“He is complex, especially when he starts the first phase. He bought Anderson because he has the right profile for the Guardiola goalkeeper. ”