Setien targeting crucial three points, Martins ready for another tough test

Setien targeting crucial three points, Martins ready for another tough test

Ahead of the important UEFA Europa League battle, Real Betis manager Quique Setien is full of desire to pick up a potentially decisive three points, while Olympiacos’ Pedro Martins doesn’t think the fate of the group will be decided in Spain.

Watch LIVE from AGONAsport Olympiacos' crucial UEFA Europa League match away to Real Betis on Thursday, November 29th. Details here.

So far, Olympiacos have picked up seven points in Group F against Real Betis, AC Milan and Dudelange, however the undefeated Spanish opponents lead the way and have displayed some excellent football in the competition. In Piraeus, the two teams played to a 0:0 tie with Olympiacos down to 10 men, however the Greeks cannot afford to lose their discipline in Seville.

Home head coach Quique Setien want to secure the three points and edge closer to cementing first place:

General thoughts on the game: “We approach all games and opponents with the same desire to win. Maybe the players experience different emotions sometimes, but as a coach, I have the same mindset. We understand the importance of the game and want to win.”

Whether this match is a final: “Is this a final? No, because there is another match against Dudelange to come. However, if we win this game with Olympiacos, we’ll have the chance to finish in first place of the group. We have the desire to claim the three points.”

Thoughts on the task facing Olympiacos: “They know that their situation in the competition largely depends on this game, this is practically their last chance. In some aspects, this makes our lives more difficult. I am expecting Olympiacos to give their best performance. They haven’t lost for a long time and I think it will be a very tough game for us.”

The brilliant showings of Giovani Lo Celso: “He’s a great footballer. Giovani understands the game, make good decisions, and has many positive qualities. He gives us a lot. Nevertheless, if we give him more time, he can improve further. Giovani loves football and we’re fully satisfied with him.”

Olympiacos boss Pedro Martins expects another difficult match against Real Betis, however he doesn’t think qualification will be decided either way on Thursday:

Difficulties of recovering from the match against Atromitos: “These are two completely different tournaments. The philosophy for the UEFA Europa League differs in comparison to the Super League. On Sunday, we competed in a very tense game, and we want to play with the same desire and intensity in Spain. Our goal is to qualify for the next stage of the competition. Qualification will be decided in the final match in this group.”

Importance of this game in terms of qualification: “Our fate in this competition will also depend on the result of the match against Real Betis. We know that this group is very strong. Tomorrow, we need to play with our philosophy and be balanced on the pitch. If Konstantinos Tsimikas had not been sent off in Piraeus, the result of the first game could have been different.”

Potential differences compared to the teams’ meeting in Piraeus: “Personally, I don’t think Betis have changed a lot. Recently, they even managed to gain a positive result against Barcelona. I expect them to impose their rhythm. Just like in Greece, they will control certain periods of the game. We will try to take advantage of the opportunities which come our way.”


by Shaun Nicolaides

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