The draw for the Europa League round of 32 ties took place in Nyon, Switzerland this midday. Olympiakos were drawn against Belgian side Anderlecht.
Thrylos will, again, meet Belgian giants Anderlecht in European competition after most recently meeting them in Group C of 2013/14’s Champions League. The Reds pulled off the double against Anderlecht during that campaign; 3-0 winners in Belgium courtesy of a Kostas Mitroglou hat-trick and 3-1 winners at the Karaiskakis with goals coming from Javier Saviloa and Alejandro Dominguez. Anderlecht crashed out of that season’s Champions League after picking up only one point from the group stage fixtures.
Last season saw an improvement to their European form. Drawn in Group D along side Dortmund, Arsenal and Galatasaray, the Brussels side picked up six points to finish in third place and progress to the Europa League knockout stages. A notable achievement of that campaign was their unbeaten away record in the group, securing three draws in all their games away from home adding to a win at home against Turkish side Galatasaray. The Purple & White were unable to carry these strong performances through to the Europa League with them, exiting the round of 32 at the hands of a 3-1 aggregate loss to Dynamo Moscow. European exit was the beginning of the end of a dismal season for the side that saw them unsuccessful in their quest to retain their domestic title they had won for the three previous seasons – out done in the end of season playoffs by a KAA Gent side marching on to their first ever Belgian league title.
The 2015/16 season saw a slow start for Anderlecht in the domestic league, but a recent up turn in events have seen them climb to fourth place after their first 18 games – only losing two league games all season with only one of those coming in their last ten. The side saw an exit from their domestic cup competition at the expense of a 4-2 defeat to Kortrijk, which will have been a cause for concern for the nine-time cup winners.
This season’s Europa League saw Anderlecht grouped with Tottenham, Monaco and Qarabag in Group J. Home wins against Tottenham and Qarabag, along with a 1-1 draw at home and 2-0 away win at Monaco saw the Belgians finish behind Tottenham in second place with ten points.
Anderlecht are a side with a strong European pedigree; winners of the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and UEFA Super Cup on two occassions (1976 & 1978). Their finest moment in history, however, came in the 1982/83 season when they lifted the UEFA Cup, defeating Benfica with an aggregate score of 2-1.
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The ties will take place Thursday 18 and Thursday 25 February 2016. As a seeded team entering the draw, Olympiakos receive home advantage in the second leg. Olympiakos will welcome the 33-time Belgian champions to the Karaiskakis on the 25th February, a week after travelling to Anderlecht’s Constant Vanden Stock Stadium.
The round of 32 draw in full:
Valencia v Rapid Vienna
Fiorentina v Tottenham
Borussia Dortmund v Porto
Fenerbahce v Lokomotiv Moscow
Anderlecht v Olympiakos
Midtjylland v Manchester United
Augsburg v Liverpool
Sparta Prague v Krasnodar
Galatasaray v Lazio
Sion v Braga
Shakhtar Donetsk v Schalke
Marseille v Athletic Bilbao
Sevilla v Molde
Sporting Lisbon v Bayer Leverkusen
Villareal v Napoli
St. Etienne v Basel