Dejan Stanković has urged his FC Internazionale Milano team-mates to make home advantage count against Villarreal CF on Wednesday night.
The two sides contest the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final in Milan and Stanković, 27, appreciates the importance of taking a lead to Spain. "We are at home in the first game and will do all we can to settle the tie as soon as possible," Stanković told uefa.com. "Being at home is an advantage and we want to make it count. Villarreal are a strong team so it won't be easy, but we have proved we can play well this season and hope to do so again in front of our own fans."
Inter won their last UEFA Champions League home match against AFC Ajax 1-0, with Stanković scoring with a sublime strike as the Italian club secured a 3-2 aggregate victory. And the Serbo-Montenegrin international is thankful to still be involved in Europe's premier competition. He said: "We want to win every competition we enter and the UEFA Champions League is no different, so it was a great relief to score the winner against Ajax. They were a tough team to break down."
Adriano missed a penalty that night, but Stanković expects the Brazilian forward to come back with a bang against Villarreal, a side he admires. "Adriano had a penalty which he missed, but he is still a great striker, don't worry about that," Stanković said. "
Villarreal will be tough opponents like every team which gets to this stage of the competition."
The Nerazzurri are fighting for honours on the domestic front as well. They lie third in Serie A and hold a 1-0 advantage over Udinese Calcio after their Coppa Italia semi-final first leg last week. Stanković is delighted with Inter's level of performance this season and is determined to end it with silverware. He said: "We have been playing well all season and have many more points in the league than we did at this stage last year. We are also in the Italian Cup, a competition in which our coach Roberto Mancini has an excellent record. We will keep fighting to win every competition."
©UEFA.com 1998-2014. All rights reserved.