FC Zenit St. Petersburg midfielder Konstantin Zyrianov is no less determined than favourites FC Bayern München to make a date in Manchester on 14 May.
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FC Zenit St. Petersburg midfielder Konstantin Zyrianov told mischief-making reporters that it was good solid planning, rather than an act of presumption, to refer to the UEFA Cup final on FC Bayern München's website.
Make a date
Bayern may be keeping their public informed of potential fixtures between now and the season's end, but Zyrianov is just as keen to make a date on 14 May in Manchester. Speaking on the eve of Thursday's semi-final first leg in Germany, the Russian international said: "Both ourselves and Bayern want to get to the final and, despite our fairly indifferent league form at the moment, we will be no less determined to get through than Bayern.
'Do our job'
"I think the Bayern employees are just doing a disciplined job," he added, "which is why they have already fixed a schedule for the rest of the year." The 30-year-old is, in fact, more concerned with what the Premier-Liga champions do for themselves. "We have to look at our work and at our search for goals. It will be an interesting match and, while they don't have Luca Toni, they do have players available of the quality of Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski."
Zyrianov, who joined Zenit from FC Torpedo Moskva in 2006, may also have a point to prove to the home bench. Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, in his news conference, had hailed the talents of Anatoliy Tymoschuk, Andrei Arshavin, Victor Fayzulin and Pavel Pogrebnyak, albeit as part of a "very good, technical squad". Dick Advocaat preferred to say: "We play with eleven players and not just four." Zyrianov, a contender for Russia's UEFA EURO 2008™ squad, aims to show as much at the Allianz Arena. "We are in the semis and now we want the final," he said, echoing his coach.