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Advocaat tells Zenit to believe

FC Zenit St. Petersburg coach Dick Advocaat said his players must give more than 100 per cent to overcome FC Bayern München without a number of first-teamers.

Dick Advocaat wants to finish the job against Bayern
Dick Advocaat wants to finish the job against Bayern ©Getty Images

FC Zenit St. Petersburg coach Dick Advocaat said his players must give more than 100 per cent in Thursday's UEFA Cup semi-final if they are to overcome FC Bayern München without a string of first-teamers.

Key absentees
Zenit got a well-deserved 1-1 draw in Munich last week, but this time face Bayern minus star striker Andrei Arshavin, left-winger Radek Šírl, the versatile Fernando Ricksen – all suspended – and defenders Nicolas Lombaerts and Kim Dong Jin who are injured. Nonetheless, Advocaat refused to count these absences as an excuse for possible failure, saying: "There is no sense talking about the players who are not here. We must speak about the players who will play. The key thing is that we go out feeling we can do something."

'More than 100 per cent'
Advocaat, short on cover and having to find a makeshift defender to fill the left-back berth, added: "You will see the lineup tomorrow [Thursday]. All I can say is that those who play will give even more than 100 per cent. So Bayern, despite being one of the best teams in the world, face a difficult task." The same applies to Zenit's reshuffled back line, who will have to concentrate on the UEFA Cup's ten-goal top scorer Luca Toni – back from a ban. "We need to pay attention not just to Toni, but to the whole Bayern side. They have a lot of star players and we need to contain them all, otherwise we'll be in trouble," warned Advocaat.

Winnable game
The Zenit supremo knows all about Bayern's inexorable threat having coached VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach in the Bundesliga in 2004/05. "Bayern were already among the continent's best clubs but they still signed three world-class players last summer. They can afford to buy the best although that doesn't mean we can't beat them." Such an outcome is unthinkable to Ottmar Hitzfeld. "Every defeat is a small catastrophe for Bayern, but I don't even think about it," the visiting coach said. "Yet we know how strong Zenit are because we could see that in Leverkusen and then in Munich. Zenit are in the semi-finals on merit, having knocked out some top clubs. We certainly know what to expect after the draw in Munich."

Returning players
Hitzfeld confirmed that Oliver Kahn, Philipp Lahm and Miroslav Klose will be available while Lucio – rested for Sunday's league victory over VfB Stuttgart following the misery of his own goal in the first leg – should return to the side. Bayern will, the coach continued, go on the offensive at the Petrovsky Stadium. "It will be a very tense and interesting match. Both teams respect each other, but Bayern are not going to play defensive football because we need to score a goal." Hitzfeld also dismissed similarities between this game and Bayer 04 Leverkusen's 1-0 quarter-final success here. "Zenit had already won 4-1 away and were not at their best."

What the hosts will not have wanted to hear is that the final in Manchester on 14 May could cap a dream campaign for Bayern – triumphant in the German League Cup, German Cup, Bundesliga and, if all goes to plan, the UEFA Cup. "You always want to win, and the whole squad and I will do everything possible to prevail, especially because Bayern are used to winning," he said.