By Mark Bennett in Leverkusen
Bayer 04 Leverkusen coach Klaus Augenthaler has asked his side to play a game of patience when they entertain group leaders FC Dynamo Kyiv at the BayArena on Wednesday. The German team know that while failure to win may see them go out of the UEFA Champions League, victory will guarantee a place in the next round, no matter what the result of the other Group B tie between AS Roma and Real Madrid CF.
Leverkusen's excellent form at the BayArena has put them on the verge of the knockout stages, but Augenthaler believes Dynamo could pose the biggest test of all. "We all witnessed great nights here in the Champions League, when we beat both Real and Roma. But if you think back I have always said that Dynamo would be the team to beat in this group," he said.
The Leverkusen coach is without midfield player Jacek Krzynówek and the suspended Diego Placente, and he has set out a simple game plan to take the three points his side may need to progress. "We must avoid falling behind. Dynamo are very strong at the back and very dangerous on the break. So if they do get the first goal it will make things a lot harder for us," said Augenthaler, whose side have conceded the first goal 12 times in the Bundesliga this season. "
We can't afford to lose our heads even if the scores are tied late in the match. We must wait for our chance and grab it when it comes along."
The match will also be a special occasion for Leverkusen's Ukrainian striker Andrej Voronin, who will be aiming to sink his compatriots. "I always used to dream of playing for Dynamo and maybe I still will some day. But on Wednesday I will be out to qualify for the next round with Bayer 04 Leverkusen and therefore I can't worry about Kyiv's fate. I will have no friends for 90 minutes," said the 25-year-old, who scored in Bayer's 4-2 defeat at Dynamo on Matchday 2.
Dynamo goalkeeper Olexandr Shovkovskiy is well aware of the threat Voronin poses, but the 29-year-old underlined the confidence flowing through the Dynamo squad when he joked with reporters before the match, saying he felt the German side's greatest threat could come from an unlikely source. "I think that Bayer's most dangerous player is [goalkeeper] Jörg Butt," he said, before adding with a smile. "He is deadly from the penalty spot."
Coach Jozsef Szabo was as upbeat as his goalkeeper when he stressed his side would be looking to win, even though a draw would be enough to take them through. "I have been in the football business for many, many years and it is my main goal to win matches," he said.
'Here to win'
We have come to Leverkusen to take all three points and we won't be looking for a draw. Both teams have done really well in the Champions League and it is a shame that one of the two clubs will most probably be knocked out. Hopefully it won't be us."
Dynamo have been beaten just once, 1-0 in Madrid on Matchday 3, since Szabo took charge in August. His side may have forgotten how it feels to lose, but Szabo is not resting on his laurels. "I actually never noticed how good our record is," he said. "I think it can be put down to our dedication and the fact that everybody here loves to win."
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