Britannia Stadium

Next Game

Stoke v Liverpool

Sunday, 24 May 2015, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Anfield

Last Game

Liverpool 1 - 3 C Palace

Saturday, 16 May 2015, 17:30

Barclays Prem

Zenit play to win - Spalletti

Zenit St Petersburg coach Luciano Spalletti accepts his side cannot afford to be second best against Liverpool on Thursday in their Europa League last-32 first-leg tie.

Last Updated: 13/02/13 at 19:14 Post Comment

Luciano Spalletti: Targeting a win against Liverpool

Luciano Spalletti: Targeting a win against Liverpool

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The Russian champions have not played a competitive match since mid-December because of the break in the domestic season, but Spalletti does not view that as an excuse.

"We can't play as number two. We'll play an intense match, aggressively," he said.

"We'll put out players that are most capable of scoring and winning the game - the best players - and we will play to win."

Unlike in the group stage, when Liverpool left captain Steven Gerrard at home for the clash with Anzhi in Moscow, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has travelled with a virtually fully-strength side.

Spalletti is aware of the danger posed by Gerrard, who has impressed in recent weeks, and leading scorer Luis Suarez.

"If a player like Gerrard is allowed more time than necessary to think, he can play any pass he wants," the Italian added.

"If our defenders allow Suarez to move the way he wants, play one on one, he will cause a lot of problems for the team.

"For Zenit, it's one of the challenges we'd enjoy as Liverpool are a great team.

"Both teams feature great, strong players, so you have to play a really good match."

Striker Alexander Kerzhakov believes they are better than the visitors despite lacking competitive action.

"I don't think we're weaker than Liverpool," he said. "I think we're stronger than almost any opponent at home.

"Our trump card is that this is our game and our fans, our stadium, and our city."

The match heralds a return to his former club for Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel, who left the Russian side to move to Anfield in January 2008.

"A lot of time has gone by since we last trained together," Kerzhakov added.

"He's gotten better since then. He's become a leader of his club and his national team.

"He's a good and tenacious defender and he's really good in the air.

"As for their other defenders, they have, for example, Daniel Agger, who plays for the Danish national team."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

think Finnegans Wake would have been a better reference point than Ulysses. Far more rambling and incomprehensible.

debra2927
Football People On TV: Garth Crooks

I

f I recall correctly, Degsy predicted a 100/1 shot correctly the week after his 150/1 Blackpool 4 - 3 Bolton call. I stuck a fiver on it as an idle bet. Paid for a stag do in Munich. Heady days...

baldini
Backing Hull To Beat United 2-1...

R

odgers prefers Joe Allen to Lucas? If this is true then I'm setting aside a fortnight to finally learn the rules of American Football and I'll give up on real football.

godzilla
The Jammy Gossip

Footer 365

QPR's Rio Ferdinand is astounded by reaction to his wife's death

QPR defender Rio Ferdinand has been astounded by the levels of support he received following the death of his wife.

Didier Drogba confirms he will leave Chelsea

Didier Drogba has announced today’s Premier League game against Sunderland will be his last as a Chelsea player.

Mike Ashley says he will not sell Newcastle United until he has won trophy

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley says he will not sell the club until he has won a trophy.

Mail Box

Only One Real Manager Of The Year

Winning the Premier League with the best squad in the Premier League is only par; Ronald Koeman did a whole lot better. Plus, the last word on Raheem and...

Don't Slate Sterling For Ambition...

Raheem Sterling deserves credit for his desire to quit Liverpool, according to one mailboxer. Also: why football should not be compared to business and Degsy's latest spot of bother...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company