Having set a minimum target of making the knockout phase, Valencia can achieve that goal at Zenit, but midfielder Sofiane Feghouli has far greater plans for the Blanquinegros.
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Well placed in Group H, Valencia are keen to wrap up qualification as soon as possible according to midfielder Sofiane Feghouli, who believes the club can go a long way should they achieve their minimum aim of reaching the knockout phase.
Section leaders Zenit beat the Blanquinegros 3-2 in their Mestalla group opener and have already qualified thanks to a perfect record, but Feghouli is confident his side can get a result in Russia which will secure progress. "I think we've got some good momentum now – we have to treat this game as a final and do everything to win over there," said the 25-year-old. "On matchday one, many of us were tense and inexperienced. I think we learned from that game. Coming home with qualification in our pocket would be wonderful."
Nuno Espírito Santo's men must bounce back from defeat at Gent last time out yet still sit second. A victory in St Petersburg coupled with a failure for the Belgian team at Lyon would help accomplish their goal. "The objective of the club was to qualify for the round of 16 and we're still on track," explained the Algerian international, who hopes the club can repeat their feats in the early years of the millennium, when they made successive finals.
"I remember those finals very well. The team has what it takes to reach the knockout stage, then anything is possible. We know we can beat anyone at the Mestalla. It doesn't matter who the opponents are. This team fears no one."
If they are to go far then Feghouli is certain to be at the heart of things, his two goals this term showing a talent which is catching the eye across the continent. Indeed, the one-time Grenoble prospect is relishing the biggest of stages. "The Champions League is the pinnacle for a player, and scoring goals in this competition is wonderful."