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Olympiakos go for the kill as they host Partizan in 2nd leg of CL qualifier


Olympiakos Piraeus aim to finish off Partizan when they clash in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League qualifier.

The Greece Superleague champions were ruthless in the first leg against the club from Serbia.

Strutting their stuff at Stadion Partizana, the Greek club coasted to a 3-1 win that sealed their tags as favourites to advance to the playoffs.

That will be foremost on their mind as they try to make homes fans happy in this third qualifying round tie.

Venue of the second leg is the Stadio Georgios Karaiskakis in Athens. It is the home ground of what is considered as the most popular football team in Greece.

Attacker El Fardou Ben Mohamed opened the scoring for Olympiakos in the initial leg, finding the back of the net just in the 6th minute.

After forward Leandre Geal Tawamba Kana evened matters for Partizan four minutes later, Mohamed completed a brace in the 56th.

The Greeks found their third goal courtesy of their Nigerian attacker Emanuel Emenike, who converted in the 91st minute.

Olympiakos’ manager Besnik Hasi is expected to rely on Ben and Emenike again especially so when they attempt to seal the deal at home.

In their last home appearances, Olympiakos posted three wins, one draw and one loss, a form that looks tough to hurdle for Partizan.

Olympiakaos are the highest-ranked Greek team in the rankings of the UEFA. They are at 21st place in Europe with 70.940 points, and one place above English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur and one below another EPL giant, Manchester United.

The “Red-Whites’’ have made it to the 1998-99 Champions League quarterfinals, losing to Juventus in the semifinals.

They have also advanced to the last eight of the 1992-93 European Cup Winners Cup. In 1963, they won the Balkans Cup, becoming the first-ever Greek club to win an international, non-domestic tournament.

Partizan, meanwhile, are the first Balkan and Eastern European football club to reach the European Champions Cup, making it in 1966.

At present, Partizan, nicknamed “The Black-Whites,’’ are ranked 121st by the UEFA.

The visitors though would lean on the fact that their last away matches gave them two wins, two draws and one defeat.

Nevertheless, Partizan boss Miroslav Dukic is keeping his fingers crossed that they can overcome the deficit and defy the odds on Greek soil.

Partizan have a mountain to climb against Olympiakos, who are priced to win at 1.49, while a big upset win by the visitors is worth 5.40. A draw after 90 minutes is worth 4.10.