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Dundalk aiming for a knockout in win-or-nothing game

By Robert Jones

Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny feels his side have no other option but to go into their crunch Europa League Group D showdown against Maccabi Tel-Aviv with the mentality of it being a "win-or-nothing game".

Both sides are locked on four points and are a point off AZ Alkmaar in the race to secure runners-up spot behind Zenit St Petersburg and a place in the knockout stages.

Given the possible outcomes, a score draw could prove enough to send Dundalk through if AZ lose.

However, should AZ inflict what would be a first Group D defeat on the Russians in Holland, then the Dutch side would progress to the last 32 regardless of the result in Israel.

"There are permutations that a score draw could put us through if Zenit win, but we must not think like that," said Kenny.

"It is a win or nothing for me and I see it as a win or nothing for us. Maccabi are huge favourites with their record. They have been in the Champions League and have 17 international players, but we have achieved special things over the last few years and must strive to go one further.

"It's not completely in our own hands. We must try to beat Maccabi who only last year were in the Champions League."

Dundalk beat Maccabi at home and Kenny has urged his men to rise to the challenge again.

"We have the ability to go and score goals anywhere and all through the team," he added. "We have scored in every country and must draw on that again."

  • Maccabi Tel Aviv v Dundalk, Europa League Group D: Bloomfield Stadium, Tonight, 6.00pm

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