FC Dynamo Kyiv coach Yuri Semin has called for "balance and patience" while Luis Aragonés insists Fenerbahçe SK will attack from the outset as the Group G rivals go head-to-head for a place in the UEFA Cup.
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Coach Yuri Semin believes FC Dynamo Kyiv will need both "balance and patience" if they are to pick up the point they require against Fenerbahçe SK to finish third in Group G and book their place in the UEFA Cup.
With Dynamo third in their UEFA Champions League section on five points and Fenerbahçe three points adrift at the bottom, a draw in Ukraine would ensure Semin's side continued their European campaign in the spring. "I will be happy with any result as long as we end up in the UEFA Cup," said Semin. "Both teams are battling for a place in the UEFA Cup so I expect a very exciting and tough game. We have some new injuries but we have to be at our best because we're ending the campaign at our ground and we want to please our fans who have been behind us all season."
Sealing a UEFA Cup berth would be some consolation after the disappointment of missing out on a place in the knockout rounds. After drawing against Arsenal FC and Fenerbahçe, and then winning at FC Porto, Dynamo looked on course to advance from their group for the first time since 1998/99. Subsequent last-gasp defeats by Porto and Arsenal killed that dream, however, although Semin remains satisfied with his charges' performance.
"I have a positive feeling after the five games," he said. "I feel we're a real team now because the players have gained huge experience and the squad is balanced. Yes, we made some mistakes for which we were harshly punished, but that is experience too. We played top European teams and world-class stars and looked decent against them. For us, the most important things against Fenerbahçe will be balance and patience."
Fenerbahçe have put a poor opening to the campaign behind them, winning six of their last eight Turkish Süper Lig matches. If their revival has come too late to save their UEFA Champions League challenge, coach Luis Aragonés is keen to maintain the winning sequence as he targets a UEFA Cup spot. "We respect Dynamo very much but on Tuesday there will be no choice for us but to play to win from the first minute," said the Spaniard, whose team were held 0-0 at home by Dynamo on Matchday 2. "You should not look back in football. We can speak about things getting worse or improving since that game, but we have another very serious match ahead and it will determine everything."
Though Dynamo are without the suspended Olexandr Aliyev and Badr El Kaddouri who has injured his right knee, striker Artem Kravets returns after illness. For Fenerbahçe, Semih Şentürk, Burak Yılmaz, Emre Belözoğlu and Kazım Kazım have been left at home. Semih has undergone surgery on his right knee and while the other three are troubled by minor complaints, Aragonés hinted their omission is not for health reasons alone. "I prepared thoroughly and if I have not included them in the squad, it is because I don't expect them to play. I consider the squad I brought here the best one available."