David Moyes has been fond of saying his Manchester United team haven't had any luck this season.
Whether it's a deflected goal or an ill-timed injury, fortune has not favoured United, according to their manager.
But he can have had no complaints when United were drawn with Olympiacos in the second round of the Champions League.
Of course, they made their own luck by finishing top of their group.
That said, Olympiacos are still 20 points clear at the top of the Greek Super League. They have been beaten just twice all season, home and away to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, although top scorer Kostas Mitroglou has since departed for Fulham.
United have played Olympiacos four times in the Champions League, winning all four, keeping three clean sheets and conceding just twice.
United won 3-0 at Old Trafford in October 2001 and 4-0 at home a year later.
Greece's other team, Panathinaikos, haven't fared much better. In four games, United have won three and drawn one thanks to Paul Scholes' 90th-minute equaliser in March 2001.
Still, there aren't many other countries that have proved such happy hunting grounds.
The tie with Olympiacos is one United are expected to win. But fans have learned very quickly that nothing is guaranteed this season.
But even without the cup-tied Juan Mata, United should have enough to progress to the quarter-finals.
And that gives them a chance of glorious failure—against Barcelona, perhaps, or Real Madrid—or even go on to win it.
It might seem strange to suggest that a team sixth in the table can win the Champions League. But, as Moyes pointed out to the Manchester Evening News, both Liverpool and Chelsea won it after finishing outside the top four.
It isn’t always the best teams that get to the final in Europe. Liverpool in 2005 gives us hope, but in any cup competition you always have a chance.
I knew it was going to be a hard competition before it started. Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Real Madrid and PSG are all top clubs.
Everybody wants to win it and we’ll try to do it. I never said we would or we can but we’ll be in there.
United have played some of their best football this season in Europe, and the same team came within a whisker of knocking out Real Madrid last year.
Whether that, combined with a bit of luck, is enough to give themselves a chance of winning the European trophy for a fourth time is a question that will be answered in time.
But it starts with a trip to Olympiacos—to Greece—on Tuesday.
It's a little bit of luck to start a journey that might require a lot more.
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