Champions League qualification tops Mourinho’s agenda

Brian Jeeves

Tottenham Hotspur v Olympiacos – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – UEFA Champions League – Tuesday 8pm

Tottenham Hotspur v Olympiacos – Preview:

JOSE MOURINHO heads into his first home fixture in the Spurs hot seat, knowing that a victory over Greek Champions, Olympiacos, will seal the Lillywhites progress through to the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League.

A 2-2 draw in the corresponding fixture, coupled with an instantly forgettable 7-2 home defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich, left Tottenham’s European ambitions hanging by a thread. However, comfortable back-to-back victories over Crvena Zvezda has given the North Londoners a perfect opportunity, which understandably, the new chief is keen to take full advantage of. 

“We are going to try and have a good result and qualify,” Mourinho explained.

“Part of our vision for the club, part of the club culture, that is what we always try to do. We try to win, we try to play well, try to play good football, attacking like we did the other day, so many chances to score. 

“That is what we are going to do. Let’s see if Olympiacos are good guys and let us do that.”

The former Chelsea and Manchester United boss has led both Real Madrid and Inter Milan to Champions League success and with approaching 150 matches under his belt, he confessed his fondness of the tournament.

“I love the competition as much as everyone in football. It’s something that everybody dreams about, to win it and not everyone has the privilege to be a Champions League winner which I was happy enough to do it twice,” he added. 

“Do I want to win it a third time? Of course, I would love it but I know the difficulties of it – at this moment, it is not the moment to speak about it. It is the moment to qualify.”

Mourinho certainly needed little introduction to the Champions League: “Plenty of experience in the competition – I think it is my 148th game and I think one of the reasons why my teams were never out in the group phase was exactly because was because we always thought about the group phase and we never thought about what could happen after that,” he continued. 

“Six matches, in our case two matches, to qualify, and that needs to be our focus.”

“Tomorrow is one that can give us the qualification and we have to understand that it’s not an easy match, good opponent, a good coach who I know well. We drew in Athens, that shows there is not a big gap between the two teams so a difficult one for us, but, hopefully, we can get the result we need to qualify.”

Mourinho will have to do without Welsh international defender, Ben Davies, who limped out of Saturday’s Premier League victory at West Ham United with an ankle injury.

Erik Lamela (hamstring), Hugo Lloris (elbow) and Michel Vorm (calf) remain unavailable, although Jan Vertonghen and Tanguy Ndombele are back in training and could come into contention.

Tottenham Hotspur v Olympiacos – Head to head:

Tottenham Hotspur won: 1

Drawn: 1

Olympiacos won: 1

Tottenham Hotspur v Olympiacos – Previous meetings (all competitions):

October 25, 1972 – UEFA Cup

Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 Olympiacos

November 8, 1972 – UEFA Cup

Olympiacos 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur

September 18, 2019 – UEFA Champions League

Olympiacos 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur

Jeevesie’s prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 5-0 Olympiacos 


Brian Jeeves