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Zenit, CSKA must be at best to make UEFA Cup last eight


MOSCOW, March 19 (RIA Novosti) - Zenit St. Petersburg and CSKA Moscow face tricky second leg UEFA Cup ties against Italy's Udinese and Ukraine's Shakhtar Donetsk on Thursday evening as both clubs look to progress to the last eight.

Zenit St. Petersburg, the current holders of the trophy, will be hoping that home advantage will help them to overturn a 2-0 defeat in Italy a week ago.

"We are prepared for the game with the Italians and are in a fighting mood," Zenit forward Pavel Pogrebnyak told the Sport Dyen Za Dnyem paper. "Will a quick goal help? I'll tell you this - the most important thing is to score and not to get caught on the counterattack. If we let in a goal at home we are out."

Zenit have a number of injury problems and suspensions ahead of the tie, with captain Anatoliy Tymoshchuk looking unlikely to start after suffering breathing problems following a blow to his ribs during the side's 1-1 draw with Spartak Moscow at the weekend. Defenders Roman Shirokov and right back Aleksandr Anyukov are also suspended for the game, while two more defenders, Tomas Hubocan and Nicolas Lombaerts are also injured.

Despite this, Dutch manager Dick Advocaat was upbeat, telling a UEFA press conference that, "We believe we can make it to the quarterfinals. We have all the qualities to get the result we need at home."

"The problem with the defense? There is nothing we can do about that. Anyway, we need to attack," Zenit midfielder Igor Semshov told Sport Dyen Za Dnyem.

The match kicks off at 8:30 p.m. (17:30 GMT).

CSKA Moscow travel to Ukraine to take on Shakhtar Donetsk after a Vagner Love penalty earned them a fortunate 1-0 win in Moscow in the first leg.

Love, who was rested for CSKA's 3-0 win at Moscow Region side Saturn at the weekend, was optimistic that the former Red Army side could not only get past Shakhtar but also go on to repeat their 2005 UEFA Cup triumph. The Brazilian striker is the competition's top scorer with 10 goals.

"There are still a lot of strong teams in the tournament, but I don't see any reason why we can't win this trophy again in May," Love told UEFA's official website.

"Above all, CSKA should play their own game," Love's teammate Alan Dzagoyev told Sport Express. "That said we shouldn't forget to be careful because our opponents are very strong."

The match kicks off at 7:30 p.m. (15:30 GMT).

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