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Russian giants Zenit refusing to take Dundalk lightly

Published 02/11/2016

Zenit St Petersburg boss Mircea Lucescu will not take Dundalk lightly
Zenit St Petersburg boss Mircea Lucescu will not take Dundalk lightly

Zenit St Petersburg manager Mircea Lucescu has warned that his side's Irish opponents in the Europa League have nothing to lose in Thursday night's clash in Russia.

League of Ireland champions Dundalk play a multi-million pound team packed with internationals in a wintry St Petersburg on Thursday.

The Russians' veteran Romanian coach said their opponents were strong and well-organised and had already shown ability at this level.

"I expect tomorrow to be a very difficult match," he said. "They have nothing to lose - only to win. Zenit have a lot of things to lose in this."

Lucescu said Dundalk played well when they drew with Dutch outfit AZ Alkmaar and beat Israelis Maccabi Tel Aviv during earlier Group D games, as well as for 70 minutes in the first fixture against Zenit in Dublin.

The Lilywhites took the lead against Zenit before eventually succumbing 2-1.

Lucescu said Dundalk did not play in a British style, but more in a European fashion.

"It will not be easy. The players are really skilful," he said.

"It is a good team, a serious team."

Zenit are full of attacking threat. Russian international striker Aleksandr Kerzhakov said he was aiming to help his side win and was feeling fit and confident.

He acknowledged that Dundalk played powerful football and said the first match was difficult.

"We have great expectations and have a good standing. The aim for tomorrow is to win - just to win," he said.

Press Association

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