Adriano backs Seville to progress
Wednesday 24 February 2010
The Seville wing-back Adriano has told his team-mates they cannot afford to fail in their Champions League last-16 game with CSKA Moscow tonight.
Seville, fourth in La Liga, have been handed what looks like one of the easier ties against a side who conceded more goals than any other qualifier from the group stage. Adriano knows tonight's first leg in Moscow represents a great chance to make further progress – especially with CSKA not having played a competitive game in two-and-a-half months.
"We cannot fail now," he said. "We are all very focused. The game is important for the players because everyone wants to play in the Champions League but it is also important for the club and the fans.
"Seville have grown enormously in recent years. They are a team with strength and international presence and have to be in the Champions League to strengthen the club position."
Saturday's 3-1 win against Real Mallorca, which ended the island sides perfect home league record, has left Seville in confident mood.
"It was a great dress rehearsal for the match in Moscow," said Adriano. "It was a great game that confirmed the level the team is at. Anyone who underestimates Seville is taking a big risk. In the Champions League, everyone understands that Seville have great potential."
Seville arrived in Russia to be greeted by unfamiliarly cold conditions and the players took the chance to have a snowball fight in training.
Adriano added: "We respect CSKA, we also respect the influence that the cold may have, but we are ready to deal with everything: the snow, the cold and the opponents."
Seville will be without striker Luis Fabiano for the Luzhniki Stadium tie after the Brazil player sustained an injury to his chest in the win over Mallorca. Winger Diego Capel also picked up a muscle injury in that game and will miss out but Frédéric Kanouté has recovered from a thigh problem and is available.
"It is a pity that Luis Fabiano is not available but, as much importance as a player can have, the team always has solutions to deal with these absences," said Adriano.
Having been out of action for so long, with the Russian season having concluded at the end of November, CSKA look to have a fully-fit squad.
CSKA defender Vasili Berezutski is not expecting the weather to work in his side's favour. "It would be a big mistake to think the Spaniards would just fall over on the slippery surface and give us a clean path to their goal," he said.
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