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UEFA Futsal Champions League quarter-final preview

Inter meet Ugra and Sporting play KPRF on Thursday in the last two quarter-finals.

The Krešimir Ćosić Arena in Zadar is staging the games
The Krešimir Ćosić Arena in Zadar is staging the games UEFA via Sportsfile

A small piece of history is being made as the first-ever UEFA Futsal Champions League quarter-final round is played.

The finals at Krešimir Ćosić Arena in Zadar, Croatia, features eight rather than four teams as a one-off and due to the competition's streamlined format this year. The knock-out event began with six former champions. Two of them met in the first game on Wednesday as Kairat Almaty knocked out Benfica before holders Barça defeated finals debutants Dobovec.

Record five-time winners Inter FS open Thursday's action against their nemeses in the 2016 decider, Ugra Yurgorsk, with the other Russian hopefuls KPRF meeting 2019 champions Sporting CP. We preview the matches, with the semis to follow on Saturday and the final on Monday.

Thursday games

Inter FS vs Ugra Yugorsk: 15:00 CET

2018 highlights: Inter's fifth triumph
2018 highlights: Inter's fifth triumph

Almost exactly five years since Russian debutants Ugra surprised hosts Inter 4-3 in the final in Guadalajara, the teams are rematched. Since then the Spanish giants have added two more titles to take their record tally to five, and if league results have been mixed this term, in recent weeks they have beaten Barça in two finals – for the Spanish Cup and Spanish Super Cup. From that 2016 decider, Ugra can still field Andrei Afanasev, Katata, Danil Davydov and Ivan Signev.

Sporting CP vs KPRF: 20:00 CET

2019 highlights: Sporting claim victory in Almaty
2019 highlights: Sporting claim victory in Almaty

Sporting won the first rebranded UEFA Futsal Champions League in 2019 and will be the sixth of the past victors to start their Zadar campaign, against a KPRF team that took bronze on debut last year. Sporting, prolific en route to these finals, have the same core that triumphed in Almaty two years ago. They are missing the injured Cardinal but another pivot has been shining in teenager Zicky Té, the pick of a fine crop of Sporting academy products. KPRF, yet to lose a European game other than on penalties, showed mental resilience in their league double-header at Ugra last week, losing 10-2 then the next day winning 6-1. However, in that first match captain Romulo suffered an injury that rules him out of these finals.

Wednesday results

Kairat Almaty 6-2 Benfica (aet)
Barça 2-0 Dobovec

Semi-finals

Saturday
SF1 – Barça vs Kairat: 15.00 CET or 20:00 CET
SF2 – Inter/Ugra vs Sporting/KPRF: 15.00 CET or 20:00 CET

Final

Monday
Winner SF1 vs Winner SF2: 20:00 CET

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