Sokratis has warned his Arsenal teammates that they face a ‘hot’ atmosphere when they take on Olympiacos in the first-leg of their Europa League clash this evening.
The Gunners have face the Greek giants in the Champions League on eight occasions since 2009, losing four times in total and three times in Athens.
Facing the media in the pre-game press conference, Sokratis admitted that playing club football in his homeland was rare.
“This is quite big for me,” he said. “We’ve been preparing in the best possible way for this fixture and of course, our mind is set on winning.”
Atmospheres in Greece tend to be raucous, smoky occasions with flares, bangers, drums and choreographed chants all playing a part. Sokratis insists the Gunners are ready for whatever comes their way.
“We have had these sort of discussions with my teammates,” he said. “They know everything, how hot and how tense the atmosphere in the stadium will be.
“What is for certain is that we are so proud to play against a top Greek club, what this means is that we’re going to play against a club who for 90 minutes will have their minds focused on winning. We know this means that this fixture is going to be really difficult and really tough.”
Sitting next to him in the press conference, Mikel Arteta, who was on Arsenal’s books but didn’t feature in either of our trips to the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium in 2012 or 2015, admitted he’s expecting a tough examination from the hosts.
“He [Sokratis] knows everything about Olympiacos, about the country, about the type of fans that we are going to find here.
“I’ve been very aware from the games that I’ve watched about them and their passion, their quality and the atmosphere that we are going to have to be playing in tomorrow.
“So yes, it’s a difficult trip away from home and we’re going to expect a tough game and we’ve prepared for the game knowing that it’s going to be a difficult challenge.”