Friday, April 20, 2018

Sevilla´s Sampaoli braced for ´crucial´ match

SoccerNews in La Liga 18 Oct 2016


Jorge Sampaoli knows the importance of claiming all three points when Sevilla travel to lowly Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League.

Matchday three sees three-time reigning Europa League champions Sevilla face cellar-dwelling Dinamo in Group H on Tuesday.

Sevilla have collected four points from two matches, the same amount as Italian title-holders Juventus, who top the group due to their superior goal difference, while Lyon are a point further back.

And Sampaoli – reluctant to consider his team favourites against the point-less Croatians – is braced for a fixture that could see Sevilla pull clear of Lyon.

“It is a crucial match for us in the battle to reach the knockouts but it is also a last chance for Dinamo Zagreb to stay in contention,” Sampaoli said.

“It will be a very difficult match for us. I don’t think we are favourites – we are a good team with quality individuals but we don’t want to consider ourselves favourites.

“We have to act as a team and that’s the only way we can win. Dinamo have a reputation in Europe – Croatian players are well known and I have great respect for them.”

Dinamo boss Ivaylo Petev – taking charge of his first Champions League game – added: “This will be a big match for all of us – it’s time to enjoy the Champions League.

“We have to be totally focused in defence and attack, and if we are we will have a chance against Sevilla. But it won’t be easy. You all know what they have achieved in the last three years.”


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