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Preview: Standard v Zenit

R. Standard de Liège coach Guy Luzon tips FC Zenit to reach the semi-finals ahead of their play-off tie, with André Villas-Boas saying "pressure makes you tick".

Standard coach Guy Luzon and defender Jelle Van Damme address the media
Standard coach Guy Luzon and defender Jelle Van Damme address the media ©AFP/Getty Images

• Standard Liège coach Guy Luzon says Zenit are capable of reaching semi-finals
• Standard have five players out injured and have lost their last two fixtures
• The visitors come into the game having won their last five matches in all competitions
• Zenit are missing injured Vyacheslav Malafeev and suspended Axel Witsel
• Zenit coach André Villas-Boas: "I feel pressure every day, it's what makes you tick"

Possible lineups
Standard: Kawashima; Van Damme, Arslanagic, Teixeira, Ciman; Mpoku, Marquet, Lumanza, Louis; De Camargo, Mbombo.
• Out: Ronnie Stam (ankle), Martin Milec (stomach), Julien De Sart (knee), Mehdi Carcela-González (groin), Yuji Ono (knee)
• Doubtful: Adrien Trebel (knee), Geoffrey Mujangi Bia (hamstring)

Zenit: Lodygin; Criscito, Garay, Lombaerts, Smolnikov; Ryazantsev, Fayzulin;  Hulk, Shatov, Danny; Rondón.
• Out: Malafeev (back), Witsel (suspended)

Guy Luzon, Standard coach
We have a limited squad because of a lot of bad luck with injuries, but I am sure the players will give their maximum to take something from this game. Zenit are a different level, though, to be honest – they are like a top-five team in the Premier League. We have a 5% chance of qualifying as you cannot compare our squad to Zenit's. In my opinion they do not have any weaknesses, even on the bench.

Against AEL [in the third qualifying round] they had 25 to 30 shots on target and I think they had 85% possession. It could have been 10-0. I think Zenit can reach the semi-finals considering their squad. They would comfortably be champions if they played in Belgium.

I don't get any extra motivation from the team or coach we play against – the motivation comes from inside me. I want to add that we know we are in a bit of a bad situation, but I also know that in a few weeks we will come back stronger. We need to be a bit patient, including the supporters – we need them to push us forward.

André Villas-Boas, Zenit coach
Concentration and focus are important for ourselves and for Standard in this match. We are closing on the Champions League group stage and that is where everyone wants to be – the players and myself, as well as the Standard players and coach. We have a lot of desire to progress.

André Villas-Boas on Tuesday
André Villas-Boas on Tuesday©AFP/Getty Images

Looking at Standard I see strengths as well as areas we can potentially exploit. However, the same goes for them with us. We are trying to prepare as best we can and it is typical for both sides to study each other's strengths and weaknesses. I feel pressure every day, pressure is what makes you tick. It is the same as a journalist, you also feel the heat and the pressure of your boss's demands. That is everywhere, in every job.

We have invested in a quality squad for the demands of the Champions League and the Russian league. The objective every year is to win the Russian title and to do well in the Champions League, but every game you play at this level is difficult because of its importance. The ambition of all our players and all the Standard players is to reach the Champions League.

Weekend results
Mouscron-Peruwelz 5-2 Standard (Diaby 19 33, Badri 23 86, Delacourt 66; De Camargo 13, Watt 43)
Zenit 1-0 FK Ufa (Hulk 31pen)

Form guide (all competitions)
Standard: LLWWDW

Match fact
• How far did Dick Advocaat's Zenit go after eliminating Michel Preud'homme's Standard in the first round of the 2007/08 UEFA Cup? Find out in our extensive match background.

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