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Russian champions set sights on European Super Cup

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 27 Aug 2008


Reigning Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg were confident ahead of Friday’s glittering European Super Cup clash with English Premier League side Manchester United.

The Super Cup is played between the winners of the UEFA Cup and the Champions League. The current holders are AC Milan, who beat Sevilla in last year’s final.

On Monday Zenit strengthened their line-up by signing Portugal international midfielder Danny for a record 30 million euros (44 million dollars) from Dynamo Moscow.

Zenit manager Dick Advocaat said he was happy with his club’s new signing, adding that Danny would likely play against United on Friday.

“Danny is a very strong player well suited for the Russian league’s style,” he said. “You will see him against Manchester. I believe he will seriously strengthen us.”

“Our domestic calendar was really busy but we have had time to prepare for the match in Monaco,” Advocaat added.

But the Dutch coach said the transfer saga over want-away star Andrei Arshavin has had a negative impact on team morale.

“Arshavin’s transfer story is taking too long. It has already lasted six weeks and I won’t deny it has had a negative impact on our team and our results as well,” he said.

Russian international striker Pavel Pogrebnyak, who missed the European championship because of knee problems, is ready to play in Monaco.

He confirmed his comeback by scoring two goals in the Russian first division match at Samara on Sunday, as Zenit won 3-0.

“My scoring abilities are back,” Pogrebnyak said. “This is really good news for me and my team. I hope we will all be able to play in good style against Manchester and achieve positive result.”

Zenit’s Argentinian striker Alexandro Domingues also expressed his readiness for the Super Cup battle, saying he and all of his team-mates were extremely motivated ahead of the clash with United.

“It will be unforgettable match, not only for me but for all of us,” he said.


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