Olympiakos vs Tottenham - Pochettino urges Spurs to show why they are favourites

Posted Wednesday, September 18, 2019 by PA

Olympiakos vs Tottenham - Pochettino urges Spurs to show why they are favourites

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is not prepared to let his side be ambushed by Olympiacos in their Champions League opener and has told them to show why they are favourites.

Spurs begin their Group B campaign in Athens on Wednesday against a Greek side who have a notoriously good record at home.

Still, last season’s finalists will be heavily fancied to open with a win, but only if they can handle the atmosphere and match their opponents’ enthusiasm.

“We cannot talk in different way, a few months ago we played final of Champions League and (playing) Olympiacos will put us in this level of favourites for the game,” Pochettino said.

“I respect the opposition and the history and it is going to be tough here. You need to show why you are favourites.

“If you are better than opponents then OK, you were better but before the game in the Champions League you need to show full respect and Olympiacos are a very good team.

“Their record here in this stadium in Europe is so good and it’s going to be a tough atmosphere, the first game of group stage and excitement will be high.

“They will have good players and if we are not focused and don’t take the game in our best condition we are going to suffer.

“But last season we played in the final of Champions League so it’s normal people think before the game, Tottenham is one step above Olympiacos but in the end you need to show it on the pitch.”

Juan Foyth (ankle), Giovani Lo Celso (hip) and Ryan Sessegnon (hamstring) are injured for Spurs while full-backs Serge Aurier and Danny Rose have not travelled with the squad as they get a rest.

Olympiacos coach Pedro Martins says his side will send out a “strong statement”.

“We will make a strong statement. We will have our fans who will support us loudly. We are playing against a very good team.

“At this level even a single mistake could make us pay.

“We will be based on our defence which is our asset, but the whole team will defend.

“We need to be stable, decisive and passionate.

“We must make no mistakes and seize every opportunity that we have through our teamwork to win the game.”



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