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Sport

Bordeaux coach insists his side are not favourites ahead of Olympiakos clash

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-02-23

Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc (pictured) has downplayed his side's chances ahead of Champions League last-16 first leg clash against Greek champions Olympiakos.

AFP - Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc has downplayed his side's chances ahead of the French titleholders' Champions League last-16 first leg clash against Greek champions Olympiakos on Tuesday.

The 44-year-old 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 winning central defender insisted his team should "not particularly" be seen as favourites for the game, despite the fact they boast the best performance in the competition so far this season, dropping just two points in the group stages.

"Olympiakos are one of those sides that are used to this kind of fixture," said Blanc.

"We were happy with the draw because we feared meeting a bigger club, but the Olympiakos players, coaches and fans said the same thing when they got Bordeaux. Both teams have just as much chance to qualify," added the former Manchester United defender.

Bozidar Bandovic's men could prove to be tough opponents for Bordeaux as they are unbeaten at home in this season's Champions League and have conceded just one goal at the Karaiskakis Stadium.

But Blanc, touted as the next manager of France when Raymond Domenech steps down after the World Cup finals later this year, vowed that his side would play an attacking game and break down the Olympiakos defence, marshalled by former Aston Villa and Juventus stopper Olof Mellberg.

"We have not come to defend at all costs because it is not our style of play, even if we are facing a team that will put us under pressure," said Blanc, who guided Bordeaux to the title and the League Cup trophy last year.

"We have to seize the best opportunities and look to score an away goal. The team will give me a very strong signal as to what I can expect from the rest of our Champions League campaign," he added.

Blanc will have to do without his influential captain Alou Diarra, who is out with a hamstring injury, while Czech midfielder Jaroslav Plasil joined up with the squad after recovering from a heel injury picked up in their 4-1 League Cup triumph over Lorient last Wednesday.

Olympiakos, meanwhile, could only manage a 1-1 draw with midtable Ergotelis in their league game on Saturday which leaves them in second place, two points behind Panathinaikos.

Despite their Champions League exploits, Olympiakos 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.

 

Date created : 2010-02-23

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