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Igor De Camargo is hoping to mark a decade in Belgian football by helping R. Standard de Liège pull off an unlikely qualification for the knockout phase of the UEFA Champions League behind Group H winners Arsenal FC in their first season in the competition.
Needing a favour
Standard kick off three points behind Olympiacos FC and must not only beat visitors AZ Alkmaar – who are hoping for a change of fortune having sacked coach Ronald Koeman at the weekend – but must also hope that an Arsenal side who are already sure of topping the group can do them a favour by winning at Olympiacos, and De Camargo has faith in a helping hand from the English side.
A draw would be enough for Standard to hold off Alkmaar for a place in the UEFA Europa League but Belgian international striker De Camargo said: "After the World Cup, playing in the Champions League is the highest possible level one can reach as a player. Every player wants to make progress and the Champions League is the experience you need if you want to reach the very top."
He added: "We need to take advantage of the fantastic atmosphere created by the Standard fans. That always brings extra motivation and makes you want to give even more of yourself for the club. Qualification for the next stage does not only depend on ourselves but we must not focus on a draw: we have to go for victory. I certainly will. I am thinking positive and believe that we will win and Olympiacos will lose."
Change of fortune
De Camargo's international team-mate Gill Swerts is going through a rough time with AZ but is hoping for a change of fortune. "On Friday we lost in the league, and then hearing on Saturday that the coach is leaving made it even worse," the defender said. "But you have to go on, and we have had to quickly focus on the match against Standard because there is still a place in the Europa League at stake for us. Both teams need to go for victory, for different reasons, and that could suit our attractive, attacking football, though we have to be wary of leaving our defence too open if we go in search of goals."
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