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Domenico D'Onofrio said R. Standard de Liège would kick off their round of 16 decider as if the first leg had not happened as he looks to avoid a Panathinaikos FC comeback in Belgium.
Standard have a foot in Friday's quarter-final draw having won handsomely in Athens last week. Yet with captain Steven Defour out and Victor Ramos (ankle) and Benjamin Nicaise (leg) doubtful, D'Onofrio is not expecting a cakewalk at the Marcel Dufrasne Stadium. "It will be a difficult match," said the 56-year-old, whose side were held 1-1 at SV Zulte Waregem on Sunday. "
We have the advantage of the first-leg result, but we have to play like it is 0-0, not 3-1. I'm sure Panathinaikos will be very focused. They've nothing to lose and have great players like Djibril Cissé, but we will be on our game too."
They may need to be, for Greens coach Nikos Nioplias is adamant his side are owed some good fortune. "A lot of things went against us in the first leg and that made all the difference," he said. "I don't think we were inferior to Standard, but we were unlucky and made a lot of mistakes." They made none on Sunday, a routine 1-0 win at Asteras Tripolis FC allowing Panathinaikos to extend their advantage at the Super League summit to five points.
"You have to create your own luck; against Standard we will need a lot to get a positive result," said Nioplias, who can call on Giourkas Seitaridis following a long-term Achilles injury. "The only thing I ask of my players is that they give 100%, nothing else." The Belgian side will be going at full tilt too and striker Igor De Camargo, captain in Defour's absence, is not alone when he says: "It would be my first time in a European quarter-final. I have to get there."
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