Champions League: Olympiakos looking forward to Manchester United visit
Olympiakos coach Michel Gonzalez is excited by a 'special' tie with Man Utd but has warned there will be no red carpet.
Last Updated: 24/02/14 1:25pm
A man who spent 14 years on the books of Real Madrid during his playing days is readying himself for a first ever clash with United.
Michel is looking forward to the challenge, as are an expectant playing staff, and the Spaniard claims David Moyes' visitors should prepare themselves for a rough ride on Greek soil.
Ahead of the first leg of a UEFA Champions League last-16 showdown on Tuesday, Michel told The Guardian: "At the start of the season I said that winning the league and the cup was a challenge, competing in Europe was a thrill, a hope, something to be enthused by.
"Benfica, Anderlecht, PSG, now United, here and at Old Trafford. I've never been. I told the players: 'This is special'."
He added on Olympiakos' plans to get at the Red Devils and make life as difficult as possible for a continental heavyweight: "We have an idea, which is to protect and respect the ball as the best way to defend and attack, and we want to be aggressive.
"People associate aggressiveness with defending. Bravery, too. No, no. Aggressiveness means going for goal, sharing a belief, a hope, that we can compete.
"That's why we think that, even if it makes us mad, we have a chance against United."
It could be argued that United's domestic struggles this season will make them vulnerable, with this an ideal time to be luring them out on the road, and Michel hopes he is piecing together a game plan which will allow Olympiakos to exploit any chinks in the Red Devils' armour.
He said: "More than seeing weaknesses I imagine them, I get my hopes up with the possibility that they exist.
"We don't have a laser-sighted weapon to blow away their defence, but we do have our ideas.
"We wanted to enjoy Europe and we're doing that, but who says we have to stop now? To be able to compete with United is wonderful.
"And I mean 'compete'. Our respect and admiration will be expressed in trying to beat them. They'll understand that. In fact, they'll appreciate that. We're not going to roll out the red carpet, we're going to go for them."