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Lille's Landreau ready to brave Moscow freeze

Published: Monday 21 November 2011, 10.00CET
Cold weather and an unfamiliar surface have made LOSC Lille Métropole's must-win game at PFC CSKA Moskva even tougher, but Mickaël Landreau insists: "We can't wait to play."
Lille's Landreau ready to brave Moscow freeze
Mickaël Landreau is rising to the challenge of Lille's mission to Moscow ©Getty Images
Published: Monday 21 November 2011, 10.00CET

Lille's Landreau ready to brave Moscow freeze

Cold weather and an unfamiliar surface have made LOSC Lille Métropole's must-win game at PFC CSKA Moskva even tougher, but Mickaël Landreau insists: "We can't wait to play."

"We can't wait to play," LOSC Lille Métropole goalkeeper said as his side looked ahead to a must-win match at PFC CSKA Moskva. "That's what great about football, when you're not sure whether you're going to get a result."

Lille head for wintry Moscow on matchday five, looking to make up the ground they lost when they allowed a 2-0 lead to slip against the Army Men in their opening Group B fixture, with Seydou Doumbia scoring twice to seize a share of the points. They have picked up just one more point in the section since, but victory on the synthetic pitch at the Luzhniki Stadion would still line them up for a shot at second place and a round of 16 fixture in the spring.

All the more reason for Landreau to put that first meeting down to experience. "That match was long time ago, and we're really not thinking about it," he explained.

There is certainly enough to contend with in Moscow without factoring in old wounds; first there is the climate and then the playing surface, though with FC Lorient and AS Nancy-Lorraine now using similar pitches in Ligue 1, Landreau feels the culture shock of switching from turf to its synthetic counterpart will not be so jarring for Lille.

"There are two sides in the French league that play on an artificial surface, so we're more clued-up on that," the 32-year-old explained. "I think that it's still a big advantage for them, and although their season is coming to an end, they're still going to be right up for this game because their qualification rests on the result as well. It should be a great match, with a lot at stake."

A CSKA win combined with defeat for Trabzonspor AŞ at home against FC Internazionale Milano would indeed propel the Russian side into the next phase of the competition, but Landreau – who passed the 500 mark in terms of Ligue 1 appearances in February, and has a good chance of surpassing Jean-Luc Ettori's French record of 602 before he retires – can only hope his side can find their best form with their backs to the wall.

The former FC Nantes and Paris Saint-Germain FC No1, capped 11 times by France, certainly feels that a victory-at-any-cost situation will chime in well with the aggressive footballing philosophy Rudi Garcia has brought to Les Dogues. "He's someone who has no fear when it comes to playing football," Landreau said as he explained the one-time Lille midfielder's outlook.

"He likes attacking football and his approach is to go out looking for a win. He doesn't say: 'First and foremost, let's make sure we don't lose the game.' He's very attack-minded, which is similar to how he was as a player."

Last updated: 21/11/11 22.16CET

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