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Sevilla´s Sampaoli braced for ´crucial´ match

SoccerNews in La Liga 18 Oct 2016

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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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