With Wisła Kraków 2-1 down and hearing "nightmare news" about their captain, coach Maciej Skorża may resort to attacking tactics against Beitar Jerusalem FC.
With Wisła Kraków 2-1 down and hearing "nightmare news" about their captain, Maciej Skorża may resort to attacking tactics against Beitar Jerusalem FC.
Wisła coach Skorża knows his side must score at home against Beitar on Wednesday if they are to set up a third qualifying round tie against FC Barcelona, and while he is inclined toward caution, he knows that it may take offensive brio to win the day. "Needing to score a goal does not mean we will play risky attacking football from the start," he said. "We must play very cleverly and cautiously. Of course we have to attack and score so more offensive tactics will probably help us create more chances."
Skorża's side breezed to last season's Polish title, finishing 14 points clear of runners-up Legia Warszawa, but found the going far from easy in Israel. "Beitar have a very strong midfield which includes three very dangerous, attack-minded players," said Skorża, who led Groclin Grodzisk Wielkopolski to the 2006/07 UEFA Cup group stage. "We must score but we will also have to do our best not to concede one."
That task has been made tougher after centre-back Arkadiusz Głowacki was ruled out for four to six weeks with a knee injury picked up in Jerusalem. "This is nightmare news for us as Głowacki is our captain and a very important part of our defensive block," Skorża said. "We do not have a pure central defender to replace him. One of the full-backs – Marcin Baszczyński, Peter Šinglár or Júnior Diaz – might have to fill in."
Costa Rican left-back Júnior Diaz looks most likely to partner Brazilian veteran Cléber at the heart of the defence, with Wisła hoping that their decision not to replace Adam Kokoszka or Dariusz Dudka following their summer departures will not come back to haunt them. Skorża also has a headache following the dismissal of Marek Zieńczuk in the first leg, with Piotr Brożek or Patryk Małecki to replace him on the left wing. With those absences downfield, much may depend upon the form of striker Paweł Brożek, who scored in the first leg and found the target 23 times in the Ekstraklasa last season. "Undoubtedly, Paweł is our best striker at the moment," Skorża said.