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Europa League • AC Milan-Olympiacos FC Preview: In Search of Honor



Milan won their Serie A match on Sunday in spite of themselves. But now our Europa League test is upon us, as we face the top-ranked team in our group, Olympiacos. The Greek powerhouse team played to a goalless draw in their opening match against Real Betis, and will be in search of a win on Thursday. Despite having won our opening match with Dudelange, Milan will be seeking three points as well. This season has had more than its fair share of disappointments for us, so Milan will be playing in search of honor

Winning in Greece is not going to be enough for them

Olympiacos is the Juventus of Greece, having won more titles than all other Greek clubs combined. Except that their club is based on the ancient Greek Olympic ideals like morality, honor and fair play. Which is ironic, because their most successful European outing involved losing a Champions League quarterfinal match to Juventus. Still, unlike Milan, they actually played in the Champions League last season.

Also unlike Milan, they are one point behind the league leaders with four wins and a loss so far this season. That loss was to PAOK, the league leaders, on Sunday. For that match, Martins lined up: Gianniotis; Vukovic, Elabdellaoui, Tsimikas, Meriah, Christodoulopoulos, Camara, Fortounis, Bouchalakis, Podence, and Koka. For our match, he has called up: Goalkeepers: Choutesiotis, Gianniotis, Sa; Defenders: Meriah, Koutris, Miranda, Torosidis, Cissé; Midfielders: Camara, Natcho, Fortounis, Androutsos, Fetfatzidis, Ghilherme, Nahuel, Touré, Podence; and Forwards: Guerrero and Hassan.

If he is truly fit, he will be in search of goals

Gattuso will not likely have Higuain just yet, even if he returned to training today, but Cutrone and Borini are both fit. Caldara is still out with his injury, and although Conti is rumored to be getting closer to a return, he and Strinic are both out with long term injuries. It is impossible to know what kind of starting eleven he will field, as he has historically not rotated much, but then changed nine players for our opening Europa League match.

The only thing that is certain is that we will want to build on the success of Sunday’s league match. Olympiacos will want to establish themselves at the top of Group F, too. For them, perhaps their honor comes from their name’s inspiration of the ancient Olympic ideals. But Milan’s honor comes from our European DNA and the ghosts of great Milan teams of the past. Tomorrow’s match gives us the opportunity to find that DNA again, and more importantly, find our honor again.


This match inspired by the music of The Cure’s “A Night Like This”


Europa League Group Stage
AC Milan vs. Olympiacos FC
Thursday, October 4 • 18:55 CEST (12:55pm EDT)
This match will be shown LIVE in the US on Univision Deportes