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UEFA Futsal Cup semi-final preview

We preview Friday's two semi-finals as holders Ugra Yugorsk face former runners-up Sporting CP and three-time winners Inter FS meet hosts and twice champions Kairat Almaty.

The Almaty Arena is the setting for the finals in Kazakhstan
The Almaty Arena is the setting for the finals in Kazakhstan ©UEFA.com

Ugra Yugorsk v Sporting CP (14:00CET, 18:00 local)

• Ugra won title on debut last year and hope to be first to retain cup since Playas de Castellón in first two editions of 2002 and 2003
• Ugra beat Benfica on penalties in 2016 semi-finals, only one of 11 European fixtures in their history they did not win in 40 minutes or after extra time
• Sporting's competition-best performance of runners-up came when Kairat previously hosted these finals in 2011

Highlights: See how Ugra won the 2016 final against Inter

Will miss final/third-place play-off if booked
Ugra: Marcenio
Sporting: Dieguinho, Diogo, Fortino, Alex Merlim

Kakà, Ugra coach
"We saw Sporting against Dynamo in the elite round. They scored three goals from set pieces, so the Dynamo players clearly lost their concentration. These kind of details could have a major influence on tomorrow's game. We have worked hard for this one, but only time will tell if it is good enough."

Nuno Dias, Sporting coach
"Although this is a very important match we have actually prepared the same as for any game in terms of analysing our opponents. I think Ugra have an advantage as they are used to changing time zones when playing in their domestic league. Obviously we are not used to it. To be honest, I think Ugra were happy to get us in the semis. After all, we are the only team here who have not won the UEFA Futsal Cup. So I think we can be considered underdogs here."

See how Kairat won 2015 title

Inter FS v Kairat Almaty (16:30CET, 20:30 local)

• Sole three-time champions Inter are bidding for first title since 2009, and have Ricardinho fit despite back problem
• Hosts Kairat want to match Inter's record tally of three titles, having won in 2013 and 2015
• Inter defeated Kairat 5-0 in 2009 semi-finals and 5-2 in 2006 second qualifying round

Will miss final/third-place play-off if booked
Inter: none
Kairat: Diego Roncaglio

Jesús Velasco, Inter coach
"This is the best club tournament in the world, so it's no surprise only the best teams have qualified for this one. We know Kairat are a very strong team, however we hope to perform at our best level. They have a very good team. They don't rely on individuals, their main strength is team play."

Cacau, Kairat coach
"Of course we need to be cautious against Inter, so don't expect us to play 5 v 4 [with goalkeeper Higuita in outfield]. Many think Inter depend a lot on Ricardinho, however they also have Ortiz, Pola, Mario Rivillos – all very good players. Their whole team is a star as such. It's a dream to be here for any futsal player. We have a great atmosphere in the team. Physically we are well prepared and we still have some time to work on the tactics."

Finals day: Sunday
Third-place play-off: 13:00CEST (17:00 local time)
Final: 15:30CEST (19:30 local time)

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