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Villarreal call for caution

Published: Saturday 19 March 2005, 8.05CET
Villarreal CF midfield player Santiago Cazorla says his side will be cautious against FC Steaua Bucuresti.

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Published: Saturday 19 March 2005, 8.05CET

Villarreal call for caution

Villarreal CF midfield player Santiago Cazorla says his side will be cautious against FC Steaua Bucuresti.

Villarreal CF midfield player Santiago Cazorla insists his side will adopt a cautious approach against FC Steaua Bucuresti on Sunday when the two sides meet at the Madrigal with a UEFA Cup quarter-final against AZ Alkmaar at stake.

Villarreal held Steaua to a goalless draw in Wednesday's rearranged first leg of their Round of 16 tie in Bucharest. But Cazorla warned that their hard work could count for nothing if they do not keep a clean sheet on Sunday. "We are determined not to concede a goal at the Madrigal," he told "The home advantage can be deceiving - if we score, we will still have to keep Steaua out because, if they score it will be worth double and that will be us out of the tournament."

'Tough rivals'
Villarreal are the sole remaining Spanish representatives in European competition after Real Zaragoza and Sevilla FC were eliminated on Thursday. But Cazorla had little time for sympathy for his fellow Spaniards. "In a way I was relieved to see Sevilla and Zaragoza go out because they are both tough rivals," he said.

High spirits
Villarreal are certainly full of confidence, highlighted by the 4-1 win against RCD Espanyol last Sunday that took them into third in the Primera División. Argentinian playmaker Juan Román Riquelme was a scorer in that comprehensive display, but then had to sit out the game in Bucharest through suspension, as did his compatriot Gonzalo Rodríguez. Both return on Sunday, but captain Quique Álvarez is injured and will not play a part. The squad were given a day off on Thursday, which will particularly benefit right-back Armando Sá who has had knee trouble of his own and remained on the bench in the Romanian capital.

Paraschiv out
Steaua have lost Sorin Paraschiv to suspension after his third booking of the competition in the first leg. Apart from being without the midfield player, coach Walter Zenga has a fully fit squad as he looks for another strong defensive display. Steaua have not yet returned to domestic league action after last weekend's game at FC Gloria 1922 Bistrita, the first scheduled following the winter break, fell foul of the weather.

Flight delayed
Steaua had to suspend their training session on Friday because of a five-hour delay with their flight to Spain, but that has done nothing to dent the Romanian side's confidence. Forward Laurentiu Dinita, who missed a couple of good chances in the first leg, knows his team need to score but is not worried.

Dinita confident
Dinita said: "As we say, a ball is a ball and in football everything is possible. Why shouldn't we score a goal in Villarreal? I hope that I will take my revenge for the two missed opportunities."

Last updated: 21/03/05 16.20CET