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Jiménez steels Sevilla for Unirea test

Published: Wednesday 16 September 2009, 9.40CET
Manuel Jiménez says Sevilla FC will have to be at their best "from the first minute" if they are to begin their second UEFA Champions League campaign with victory against debutants FC Unirea Urziceni.
Jiménez steels Sevilla for Unirea test
Sevilla coach Manuel Jiménez and goalkeeper Andres Palop meet the press on Tuesday ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

SevillaUnirea Urziceni

Goals scored13
 
8
Attempts on target47
 
22
Attempts off target42
 
29
Corners41
 
16
Offsides20
 
8
Fouls committed97
 
94
Yellow cards9
 
15
Red cards0
 
0
 
Published: Wednesday 16 September 2009, 9.40CET

Jiménez steels Sevilla for Unirea test

Manuel Jiménez says Sevilla FC will have to be at their best "from the first minute" if they are to begin their second UEFA Champions League campaign with victory against debutants FC Unirea Urziceni.

Manuel Jiménez recognises his Sevilla FC side will have to be at their best throughout if they are to begin their second UEFA Champions League campaign with a home win against FC Unirea Urziceni. The Romanian champions have never before appeared in the competition – and are playing in only their third UEFA club competition match – leaving coach Dan Petrescu looking for "a miracle" at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán.

Manuel Jiménez, Sevilla coach
Unirea are an unknown quantity, but they are top of the table in Romania and defend well. We have to play to win from the first minute. I'm glad Sevilla command respect in Europe because of what we've done in the past, but now we need to earn that respect again on the pitch. The Spanish and Romanian leagues can't be compared, everybody knows the Liga is one of the best in the world. It is a pleasure for Sevilla to play in the Champions League again. Sevilla have grown a lot in recent years as eight years ago we were still playing in the second division. We will try to finish first in the group and then get to the quarter-finals to improve on what we did two years ago. I would be lying if I were to say I know Unirea well, but they have experienced players and their chairman wants big things. We respect them as much as we respect [group rivals] Rangers and Stuttgart.

Dan Petrescu, Unirea coach
Sevilla are the group favourites; I would prefer to start with another team but it's happened this way. It's a very important match for our club, for my career and for the players. It will be my first time in the Champions League as coach and we know it won't be easy because our experience is small. I'll try to pass my experience in the Champions League as a player on to my team but playing is not the same as training. We'll try everything to get a positive result; Sevilla are clearly the favourites but anything is possible in football. We will need luck. Sevilla played four times against Steaua Bucureşti and won every match. We can't fear them when we go on to the pitch; we're not here to visit Seville or change shirts after the match – although our chances are low we will try to win. Our team played in the second division four years ago; it is a miracle that a town of 17,000 people is playing in the Champions League now.

Key stats
• Sevilla coach Jiménez will be confident his team can start on the right foot. In four competitive games with FC Steaua Bucureşti the Spanish club have ended on the winning side each time. It is the first time Unirea, Liga 1 champions for the first time last season, have faced a team from Spain in European club competition.

• Sevilla have unhappy memories of Matchday 1 from their previous UEFA Champions League appearance, going down 3-0 at Arsenal FC in 2007/08. However, five subsequent victories sent them into the last 16 as group winners.

• The Andalusian club scored nine goals in their three home games and maintained that average with a 3-2 win against Fenerbahçe SK in the first knockout round. However, having lost the away tie by the same score the issue was decided on penalties, the Turkish club going through.

• Adding their 2-0 win in the home leg of that season's third qualifying round tie against AEK Athens FC, the Spanish side have won all five home games in Europe's premier club competition. During their successive UEFA Cup triumphs in 2006 and 2007, Sevilla lost just one of their 14 home games, winning eleven and drawing two.

Team news
Sevilla
Out: Ernesto Chevantón (calf), Ndri Romaric (knee ligaments)
Doubtful: Sergio Sánchez (throat infection)
Suspended: None
Misses next match if booked: None

Unirea
Out: Răzvan Pădureţu (thigh)
Doubtful: Marius Bilasco (fever), Sorin Frunză (ankle)
Suspended: None
Misses next match if booked: None

Weekend results
12/09/09 Sevilla 4-1 Real Zaragoza
(Konko 8, Luis Fabiano 45 86, Perotti 57; Arizmendi 33)

12/09/09 Unirea 1-0 FC Unirea Alba Iulia
(Marinescu 33)

Did you know?
Petrescu played for Romania against Spain at EURO '96™, a Group B fixture in Leeds that Spain won 2-1.

Last updated: 27/09/14 5.25CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2010/matches/round=2000028/match=2000369/prematch/preview/index.html#jimenez+steels+sevilla+unirea+test