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Dynamo designs on knockout phase

Published: Wednesday 3 November 2004, 10.17CET
FC Dynamo Kyiv coach Joszef Szabo has cause for confidence as his side prepare to welcome Real Madrid CF.

Tournament statistics

Dynamo KyivReal Madrid

Goals scored8
Attempts on target28
Attempts off target37
Fouls committed88
Yellow cards9
Red cards0

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Published: Wednesday 3 November 2004, 10.17CET

Dynamo designs on knockout phase

FC Dynamo Kyiv coach Joszef Szabo has cause for confidence as his side prepare to welcome Real Madrid CF.

By Andrew Haslam

FC Dynamo Kyiv will be confident of overtaking Real Madrid CF at the top of UEFA Champions League Group B when the Spanish club visit the Valery Lobanovskiy stadium on Wednesday.

Home advantage
Joszef Szabo's side held their own in the 1-0 defeat at Madrid a fortnight ago and will fancy their chances in the return match. Both teams have six points, level with Bayer 04 Leverkusen, but with another home game to come on Matchday 5 against AS Roma, Dynamo's fate is currently in their own hands.

Mistakes in Madrid
"Both sides had goalscoring chances in Madrid - and I hope that luck will be with us on Wednesday," Szabo said. "We certainly won't repeat the mistakes we made in the first match.

'Ready for battle'
"We are a good team and our players are ready for the battle," continued the Dynamo coach, who has forward Diogo Rincón available after suspension. "They understand that they're up against some of the best players in the world so all of our lads must play at 100 per cent. If [Zinedine] Zidane, [Luís] Figo, Ronaldo, Raúl [González] or [Michael] Owen are at their best then it'll be difficult for us. But the team is preparing as usual, training hard and watching videos of Madrid matches."

Gavrancic doubt
However, the Dynamo cause could be hit by the loss of defender Goran Gavrancic to a leg injury that forced the Serbo-Montenegrin international to sit out Friday's 2-0 victory at FC Metalurh Zaporizhya. Brazilian defender Rodolfo hurt his thigh in that match but should be fit to play.

Samuel stays home
Madrid, meanwhile, will be without Argentinian international centre-back Walter Samuel, who has not travelled to Ukraine after suffering a knee injury last week. English pair David Beckham and Jonathan Woodgate are still sidelined, but Figo is in the squad despite a throat infection that kept him out of Sunday night's 2-0 home win against Getafe CF.

'No problems'
Madrid coach Mariano García Remón insists his players are going into the game in a positive frame of mind, saying: "Our preparations have gone well and we are going to Kiev in a good spirit. Everybody expects beautiful and high-scoring football from us but we can't win all the time.

'Give their all'
"I can promise that my players will give their all to win," García Remón continued. "We always play to win. I have seen many Dynamo games, and at home they play attacking football so we'll try to keep the ball from them."

Owen goals
Owen has scored in each of Madrid's last four outings and his coach reflected on the wealth of attacking options at his disposal, saying: "We have Owen in great form while Raúl and Ronaldo are playing very consistently. However, Dynamo have a number of dangerous players, especially Diogo Rincón and Latvian forward Maris Verpakovskis."

Madrid 'progress'
Madrid defender Roberto Carlos agreed that the Ukrainian champions pose a stern challenge, adding: "I liked the way Dynamo played in Madrid. They caused us many problems and could have drawn or even won if luck had been on their side. However, little by little Madrid are approaching our best, and in the last five matches we have played quite well."

'For the fans'
Nevertheless, Dynamo midfielder Valentin Belkevich believes his team can earn a vital victory in Kiev. "We always have a winning mentality because Dynamo have the highest goals," he said. "We have to play for our fans as they believe in Dynamo and always support us no matter what."

Last updated: 03/11/04 18.02CET