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Coach Domenico Di Carlo said UC Sampdoria will be out for "revenge" when they host SV Werder Bremen tasked with overturning a 3-1 play-off deficit to reach the UEFA Champions League group stage.
Giampaolo Pazzini's header in the dying seconds of the first leg last Wednesday has given the Serie A club renewed belief they can progress to Europe's elite club competition for only the second time. Having had a week to reflect on the three goals they leaked in 18 second-half minutes, Di Carlo senses a burning desire within his squad to do themselves justice this time around. "They're all eager for revenge and want to put Bremen under pressure until the final whistle."
Di Carlo – who will be without Pietro Accardi (knee) again, the suspended Stefano Lucchini and Andrea Poli (thigh) – has warned his team against being too eager to right the wrongs of last week. "Bremen are very dangerous when they counterattack but tomorrow the atmosphere will be hot in our stadium with 30,000 fans supporting us," added Di Carlo. "During the first leg we saw Bremen's strong and weak points. They created a few chances to score but also gave us some. We'll have to exploit those weaknesses."
His team may have the relative security of a two-goal lead yet Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf is taking nothing for granted, chastened perhaps by the weekend's 4-1 loss at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. "We have the better starting position, but we mustn't take it easy," explained Schaaf, whose team took the lead on Saturday before conceding four times in 23 minutes. "This is a big match."
Following that defeat in their Bundesliga opener, Bremen have travelled to north-west Italy with only 14 fit outfield players, Aaron Hunt (fever) and striker Hugo Almeida (thigh) among those ruled out. "With regard to those two, we are missing two very strong players who have experience in our way of playing and of European competition," added Schaaf. "We have to deal with that. Let's see how we get on."
Having played in Serie A last season for FC Internazionale Milano, albeit only three times, summer signing Marko Arnautović is well placed to offer an insight into the reception awaiting Bremen at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris. "Things can really take off in their stadium," said the Austrian international, 21. "They are a different side at home and that's where they won most of their points last season."
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